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Gloom

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It Begins 5 Points

Deliver your first piece of firewood

Not Today 10 Points

Kill a Specter

Student of the Dark 10 Points

Score 1500 points

Acolyte of the Dark 25 Points

Score 3000 points

Fan the Flames 50 Points

Deliver 5 pieces of wood

Gladiator of the Dark 50 Points

Score 5000 points

Liege of the Dark 100 Points

Score 7500 points

One With the Dark 100 Points

Score 15,000 points

Secret Medal ????? Points

Unlock this medal to learn its secrets!

Secret Medal ????? Points

Unlock this medal to learn its secrets!

Secret Medal ????? Points

Unlock this medal to learn its secrets!

Author Comments

A Doom-ish type game I made while trying to figure out if such a thing is even possible in Flash. Unintentionally turned into something a lot more horror-focused.


New enemies (with corresponding medals) appear after delivering your 3rd log.


TIPS


Camera control: Hold shift to decouple the mouse from the camera. You can do this to re-center the mouse when it reaches the edge of the screen. Do this before the mouse actually hits the edge, so that you don't have to fuss with the shift key if you need to turn quickly. Try practicing before you deliver the first log.


Trick shots: If moving perpendicular a Specter, you can sometimes drag them into your bullets by shooting slightly to the left or right of them, then moving in that direction. When the Specter changes direction to continue chasing you, it will run into the bullet.


Specters: They become faster the farther you are from the fire, and the more the fire dies down. Fuel the fire as consistently as you can and don't wander further from the fire than is necessary to find firewood. A scraping sound indicates one of them is getting dangerously close. Don't take them lightly just because they're the first enemy you encounter - most of your game overs will come from them!


Stalkers: They only approach you when your back is turned. When close enough (when the indicator starts turning orange,) they rush you when you look at them. Turn your back until they're close enough, then turn toward them and shoot quickly. Aiming is easier (but riskier) if you let them get close.


Swampers: They kill the fire when you shoot them. Get a log and stand next to the fire before you shoot them, then immediately deliver the log after they die.


Summoners: They summon three random enemies (usually Specters) when they die. Kill them near the fire so that the Specters that spawn are slow enough for you to kill them all.


Score-chasing: Each log spawns a bit further away than the previous one. Stand next to the fire with your log before delivering it to farm kills. Deliver the log when enemies become too aggressive. Waiting longer prolongs the game (and thus increases your score) but is riskier.


CODE ASSETS


I'm publicly releasing several of the code assets I made for this game:

3D engine

Mobile-compatible joystick

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69 time alive

I went into this without any expectations, and it's not bad in the least bit. It works as a simple time killer, and provided you're not expecting a fully fleshed out experience it's a fun time. Obviously this was more of an experiment than anything else, and you did manage to come up with a good method of progression; collecting logs is easy to begin with, but the more you gather, the farther away you have to travel to find them, and the more baddies you need to micromanage. The beams of light were a good choice for alerting the player to danger, and while I would probably find them obnoxious in other games, the already simplistic nature of this game gives the mechanic room to breathe.

Some critiques I can offer:

The wealth of information provided in your description would probably have been better off in the game itself. Maybe a page for detailed instructions? If you just jump in and play, you'll find yourself a bit overwhelmed, especially by the game's biggest problem, the mouse look. There has to be a better way of keeping the mouse in check, because having to manually recenter it yourself every time you make a particularly sharp turn? It's awful, and it adds a layer of difficulty that is nothing more than artificial, without any fun to be gained from it; It feels like busywork.

I haven't had a chance to play it on mobile yet, but I'll definitely be checking it out to see if it controls a bit better on that.

In regards to other player's complaints regarding enemy speed, it seemed alright to me for the most part. I say most part because I feel like I did encounter some anomalously speedy creatures at only two logs, who could zip out of the way of my attack at near point blank range. This was admittedly rare, however.

I look forward to seeing more from you!

Kwing responds:

Thanks, this is some really great feedback!

I admit the light indicators are rather big. I wasn't really sure what the alternative was (AS2 can't control left/right audio channels, and I didn't want the player to constantly be turning around looking for new enemies.) I suppose I could make a smaller indicator, but I do think a visual tell is pretty important, especially considering the insta-death mechanic.

I only added the information into the description once judging for the Game Jam began. My original intention was to give the player no guidance and let them discover the mechanics for themselves. Unfortunately the low scores (player scores, not review scores) that I noticed for the first couple of weeks indicated that people were REALLY struggling, so I put a full strategy guide in the description to help them out a bit. Looking back I think having a bestiary might have been a good middle ground - a player is free to fight a new and mysterious enemy on their own, but if they get killed by it they can look up information for that specific enemy type.

I've responded to this a bit in other reviews but I was pretty frustrated with the shift lock and it seemed like the best I could do under the circumstances. After seeing how Doom Triple Pack runs with the "click and drag" mechanic, I think it might have been a good idea to have shooting happen exclusively through the spacebar, so that the player could click and drag the mouse off-screen to pan farther in either direction (then again, this is completely useless if you're playing in full-screen...) Camera controls are something I'll definitely look into if this ever gets a sequel.

Just to clear some things up, enemy speed is dependent on the strength of the fire and your proximity to it, NOT the number of logs delivered. This means you can encounter impossibly fast enemies immediately after delivering your first log, provided you're too slow in delivering the next one, wander too far from the fire, or both. There's no direct correlation between number of logs delivered and enemy speed, but there is an INDIRECT correlation in that the part of your search which takes you farthest from the fire will be the most difficult, and the longer it takes to find and retrieve the wood, the more the fire will die, causing enemies to become more difficult. Similar to my comment about making enemy types ambiguous, I did consider adding information to the HUD which would tell players how fast enemies were moving, but in the interest of immersion I made the HUD as minimalistic as possible (hence why you don't even see your score until you die.)

Games like this are why I love NewGrounds. The challenge in this game ramps up perfectly
- leading to high-tension runs with an RNG that feels fair yet challenging at the same time. The 15k target is perfect for mastering all the details.

Kwing responds:

Glad you liked it! I wanted the difficulty to be a bit more interesting than "enemies have more HP and do more damage" so I thought the variable speed of the Specter enemies would be cool. When I experimented with having logs spawn farther away the difficulty curve just kind of fell into place.

A little too hard. Not sure how I feel about it, health should be necessary, too much enemy spam, bad mouse control, shift is actually making the game harder, too easy to die. I feel like the danger indicator should be a little clearer, because it can be misleading and turning around constantly is kinda annoying. I could go on and on, but let's finish it here. Let's say that the difficulty in both gameplay and movement is discouraging from playing the game. Maybe make the enemies slower?

The sentiment is correct, the art is good, the monsters look good, the idea is good, the atmosphere is good, but the gameplay is severly lacking.

Kwing responds:

It's times like these when I wish I could shadow people playing the game (or get some consistent beta testers...) Specifically relating to the enemy speed, this is highly dependent on how big your bonfire is and how far away you are from it - to the point where enemies can move at over 50x their original speed given the right conditions. Neglecting to feed the fire or wandering too far away can kill you very quickly, but on the other hand, enemies can be extremely manageable if you're attentive to both of these things (ideally you make a beeline toward the wood, beeline toward the fire, then rinse and repeat while strafing.)

I originally considered having the difficulty ramp up much slower, but I was concerned that this would make early game boring for veteran players. Unfortunately I think this is one of those things where optimizing the game for competitive/repeat play is detrimental for atmosphere and tutorialization, and given that people seem to be struggling a lot, it's clear these things are out of balance.

As a devoted DOOM fan you know I was a liiittle disappointed there wasn't more DOOM in this, but it's a nice idea otherwise. Hella difficult with how you continually have to adjust your aim though and move with two sets of keys in parallel to work around that. Maybe you eventually figure out a camera pattern that lets you avoid paying as much attention to that though... will probably come back to this when I'm a bit less aggravated by the challenge.

Otherwise I love the atmosphere! Good games back in the day were always all about the essentials, and it feels like this plays on that early aesthetic a bit... even if it might've been more so a limitation they had to work around way back when.

Good game albeit with a little high initial difficulty; multitasking requirement.

-cd-

Kwing responds:

Admittedly this game has little to do with Doom. The original project was just kind of a "I wonder if I can do 3D in Flash" but once I made the engine I realized walls, environments, or even just more than a dozen or so objects would be difficult to render on screen, especially in a way that looked good. So rather than having mazes with keys and doors, I opted to make a desolate forest, and the result was that it didn't make much sense to have traditional Doom-like gameplay. I ended up settling for Gloom as a name for three reasons: one, it was a cute play on the original concept I had for making Doom clone; two, making a dark and gloomy game allowed me to hide the lack of objects in the distance behind darkness; and three, having a campfire and a light mechanic (hence the gloomy aspect) as a central mechanic was an effective way at keeping the player close to the center of a map where all of the rendered objects were (tricky to do when you can't make traditional walls.)

I did really want to make the camera work better (I've talked about this in some other responses already.) You're definitely right that the initial difficulty is the worst part, as it takes several games to get comfortable with it.

As far as aesthetic, thank my buddy Shin for the art - the atmosphere wouldn't have been anywhere near what it is without him doing a fantastic job.