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Old July 17, 2020, 14:54   #1
Lovekraft
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"There is no light" : a roguelite made with pixels and love!

Hi!

"There is no light" is an old school dungeon crawler, based on atmosphere, replayability, reflexes, and tactical approach.

You can play it for free, directly in your browser, from the website itch.io :

https://chaliceoflore.itch.io/tinl



> SYNOPSIS :

Fight your way through a mysterious dungeon, full of wonders and dangers, to bring back the Moonstone, a precious artifact stolen by evil creatures. Upgrade the hero's skills and equipment to face deadly monsters, and survive in a dark environment by providing the hero food and light sources. Only the true hero will be brave enough to confront the Dungeon Lord. He awaits you.

> KEY FEATURES :

- 3 difficulty levels
- Strong randomness effects to renew the Dungeon
- Survival mechanics : food, light source, poison
- Various monsters with unique combat behaviors
- A ton of secrets to discover : observe the Dungeon carefully
- Types of equipment to upgrade : helmets, armors, shields, weapons
- Rare magic items to get incredible exploration bonuses
- Experience levels : upgrade the hero to confront the worst enemies
- Money system and merchants : bazaar, arsenal
- Peaceful places : get the help of the monks!

Give it a try! if you like the game, please leave a comment on the landing page to encourage me. You can also support if you feel like it. Good luck
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Old August 10, 2020, 14:44   #2
Grotug
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I played your game. First outing I starved to death pretty quickly. Second outing I got about 7 to 10 dungeon levels down. The first beastman I encountered I killed, the second one killed me when it attacked me fiercely twice in a row (I was also suffering from poison in my veins at the time).

Immersion: game gets a solid 10/10. I love the art style and the glowing of the torch and the look of the dungeon is nice. And the sound effects are very nice.

Gameplay: game gets a solid 3/10. The lack of control during the battle and just sitting there waiting to see how it goes every time gets old fast. Not being able to view an inventory is also hard to get used to. I came over a blue potion but my character wouldn't pick it up or examine it or do anything to let me know what it was so I just left it there.

I starved pretty easily in my first attempt so I stopped exploring the dungeons after that and took the first stair I saw from then on.

Not having a hunger meter or health meter (for my character or the monsters) or a poisoned meter is also a head-scratcher. I'm not sure how not having those increases the immersion of the game? Seems like the opposite is true. Little horizontal bars, one for each status, would be very fitting and increase immersion and stylistically would fit very nicely with the rest of the simple/immersive style. You wouldn't need any numbers; just small colored lines inside brackets that reflected hunger level, being hurt and being poisoned. These would do sooo much for the gameplay and immersion, in my opinion. I have no idea how much health I've lost when I get hurt so I don't know how close to death I am. I never received a message that indicated there were different levels of getting hurt. I never got a message that said "you are mortally wounded" or some indication I was close to death. "You got hurt." and then "you died." I appreciate the goal to keep things simple, but I think you've taken that principle too far without giving the player enough information.

I suggest instead of a slow turn by turn account of how the battle goes there be a description that appears somewhere over the dungeon (that portion of the dungeon can be faded out so that the text can display) that tells you how the battle went with key aspects of the battle in different colors. So if you get poisoned, the text would be green, and if you got hurt the text would be red. That way after 438 battles if I'm bored reading the descriptions at that point I can just scan for info about how it went.

Alternatively, you could just do it the way Angband does it, and be able to hit ENTER after each "turn" and if you try to rush through the turns you are prompted when something bad happens like you get poisoned or "hurt". But, honestly, I'm not sure why you have removed the interesting tactical aspect of the game of being able to flee from battles you discover you cannot win, instead of it being a life and death gamble each time you fight a new monster.

It would also be more interesting to see your status bars (as described above) diminish as the battles go on.

Conclusion: I think your game has a lot of potential in that if you've done a great job with the sound and graphics and I do like the simplicity of it; but I think at least add the status bars so the battles are more interesting and the game overall is more interesting.

I'll probably give it another go and see if I discover anything more about the gameplay of the game that will change my view on some of my feedback here.
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Old August 10, 2020, 17:30   #3
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I just beat the game on default difficulty. As I gained experience in the game I found that my criticisms above were unfounded. The game works fine just as it is. It was fun! Good job.
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Old August 10, 2020, 19:42   #4
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Congrats for winning the game, and thank you for this long feedback It seems you have liked the immersion, and the atmosphere, I'm happy because I've tried to create a small but endearing lore

The first point of view you explained was founded. There is no HUD at all, it may not please. As you said, I tried to stay on my minimalistic approach. For example, the player has to memorise the number of wounds he suffered to estimate his health points. The downloadable manual is really helpful I think. Concerning the battles, my philosophy was to focus on a single mechanic : run from an enemy or provoque the fight, knowing the current status of the hero, and the strenght/weakness of the enemy. It's quite radical

I tried to make a game with a learning curve, you learn from your mistakes, memorise the secrets and chests, and try to do better next time. And to be honest, it was quite a hard work to create this game, so I tried to limit myself only to the core mechanics to be able to finish it.

Thanks again, and if you liked the game please leave a small comment on the landing page on itch.io, it helps a lot to keep the game "alive". And if you want, you can try the hard mode (right stairs in the first room) : to me, it's a completely different experience, unforgiving, even unfair sometimes, but very intense, and what a achievement when you beat the game in that mode !
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Old August 10, 2020, 20:29   #5
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I might try hard mode. I think I had a very smooth run when I won as I found what I needed when I needed it. It was quite nice.

Once I did understand the way the game was designed I came to quite like it. I felt by the mid to late game that I had a pretty good sense of my health, although I thought maybe my health would be restored to full upon leveling up (I don't think it was).

I actually recorded my game if you want to watch; unfortunately my narration is too quiet and it's hard to hear everything I said:

https://youtu.be/MtByERCcezo

I'm headed out just now, but I'll try to remember to leave a comment on your site this evening.
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Old August 10, 2020, 21:43   #6
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I've watch your video, it's so nice to see that !

You had an interesting run, with powerful items quite early (like the three relics, that give you a huge boost in attack, dexerity and defense). But you played well too, with good intuitions on the game mechanics and mysteries, even if you miss some things on the way (that's normal !). In mid game, you had 2 or 3 "torch stress" that could have gone worse. But monster were not a problem with your equipment, relics, and experience level. 2 or 3 chalices of lore, it's rare, in fact from mid game you were "ahead of the dungeon". The last battle made me laugh... In hard mode it would have been very different I really encourage you to try it !

If you play in hard mode, I think you have to fully explore each map, to make sure you don't miss any item or secret. That means running quick ! Monsters will be more powerfull too, even with a good gear like the one you had (crystal sword is the third best weapon, emerald is second, and there is a very rare family of items even better !). And in hard mode, it is permanent death, for more pressure !

Don't look for keys to unlock locked doors, there is no way to open them. They are located at places where you could have found bazaars, armories, or monks, but randomness decided otherwise.

Last edited by Lovekraft; August 10, 2020 at 22:28.
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Old August 15, 2020, 14:08   #7
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The game has been played almost 200 times now, and I had quite a lot of interesting feedbacks. I'm starting to think of a huge overhaul of the game, taking those feedbacks into account, and adding a few ideas i have in mind for a long time. The mains changes envisaged are :

> HUD with the most important informations : health...

> Simple magic system : libraries/spellbooks/scrolls to increase knowledge in magic and spells, resistance thanks to a new type of object (cloaks)...

> More control in the battle, in each turn : escape (with a risk of behing back attacked), attack normally like in the actual game, or use magic (powerfull but limited in the number of uses, therefore to manage)

> More variety in the blows of the hero : counterattack, critical strikes...

> New monsters (perhaps "unique monsters")

> Traps, doors/locked doors/keys

It is maybe a bit ambitious ! But all these features don't have the same priority. To me the most important is : HUD and more control in the battles.
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