## Bump in the Night

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joedono
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### Bump in the Night

I’ve completed the prototype build of the game I’ve been working on. Bump in the Night is a top-down stealth horror game about defending yourself during a home invasion. You can read more about how to play and the current state of the game on the readme.

I know the game still has a long way to go and there are some glaring bugs in it now. I’m mostly looking for feedback to answer the question “Does this concept seem like fun?” I think I’m too close to it to answer that question. I know too much about how the AI works. So any feedback is appreciated.

https://github.com/joedono/Bump-in-the-Night/releases
Last edited by joedono on Tue Feb 27, 2018 4:48 am, edited 4 times in total.

jojomickymack
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### Re: Bump in the Night

I played this briefly a few days ago and I was really impressed with the presentation - the titles, the menus - really comes off as a polished game. As far as the gameplay itself - I did have some feedback on.

player/enemies
The player and enemies are blue and red rectangles, I'm sure you're working on animated sprites to replace those

lighting
While it looks like you're using a lighting shader engine (https://github.com/matiasah/shadows, https://github.com/tanema/light_world.lua) - the game just begs for more effects. I can see the shadows shift when the flashlight goes around a corner, but the edges of the light needs to be softer.
When changing direction, the player turns around suddenly - given that the light engine can provide so much here, I'd really like to see the player/flashlight direction rotating. I'd like to see the flashlight beam moving across the surroundings.

sound
as I move the character around, the footsteps start and stop so abruptly that it's distracting. The sound needs to be smoothed out since the game relies so much on atmosphere. Maybe if the footsteps were softer and had less echo. Any sound that you hear over and over during gameplay is going to become annoying, this footstep sound needs to be more subtle.

as far as the game being fun or not, I definitely think it's fun. It's kind of like a stealth game. See if you can get the visual effect of the gameplay to be on par with the opening/ menus. I believe this game could better showcase the power of these lighting engines without too much work.

zorg
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### Re: Bump in the Night

You could try to vary the pitch of very repetitive sounds, like footstep sounds, by a small amount each time you play them back; a simple code, something similar to the following might do the trick:

Code: Select all

-- sfx is the table of Sources, like you have it
-- footstep is a Source object
-- Whenever you call it to play, put the setPitch line before the play one; note that this doesn't solve instances where you'd need to play the same sound twice (or in other words, play a sound when an instance of it is already playing; that's a bit more complex)
sfx.footstep:setPitch(1.0 + love.math.random()/10)
sfx.footstep:play()

Me and my stuff True Neutral Aspirant. Why, yes, i do indeed enjoy sarcastically correcting others when they make the most blatant of spelling mistakes. No bullying or trolling the innocent tho.

joedono
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### Re: Bump in the Night

jojomickymack wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:38 pm
The player and enemies are blue and red rectangles, I'm sure you're working on animated sprites to replace those
Sort of... I have very little talent for art right now, so this is going to be one of the last things I replace.
jojomickymack wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:38 pm
While it looks like you're using a lighting shader engine (https://github.com/matiasah/shadows, https://github.com/tanema/light_world.lua) - the game just begs for more effects. I can see the shadows shift when the flashlight goes around a corner, but the edges of the light needs to be softer.
I'm using tanema's LightWorld engine. I'm planning on spending some time learning how to make shaders so I can do a slightly better job with the lighting here. LightWorld is good, but has the annoying bug of lighting up Bodies that should be in shadow when light is blocked by another Body. I definitely want to add more lights too. Rooms that can be illuminated, lights in the hallway that flicker when certain types of monsters are close, maybe even a flickering light effect on the title screen to give it some extra spookiness. I hadn't thought about softening the lights though. I'm not sure if LightWorld supports softening the edges of a directional light.
jojomickymack wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:38 pm
When changing direction, the player turns around suddenly - given that the light engine can provide so much here, I'd really like to see the player/flashlight direction rotating. I'd like to see the flashlight beam moving across the surroundings.
It was actually like this in my early attempt at this project. I build this version intending to design it for controller and controlling the flashlight with the right stick. It seemed like forcing the player's flashlight to rotate would slow the game down too much in that case. But I did something similar with the monster sight-cones and liked the way it looked.
jojomickymack wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:38 pm
as I move the character around, the footsteps start and stop so abruptly that it's distracting. The sound needs to be smoothed out since the game relies so much on atmosphere. Maybe if the footsteps were softer and had less echo. Any sound that you hear over and over during gameplay is going to become annoying, this footstep sound needs to be more subtle.
zorg wrote:
Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:48 pm
You could try to vary the pitch of very repetitive sounds, like footstep sounds, by a small amount each time you play them back; a simple code, something similar to the following might do the trick:
I share the dislike for the current sound effects, especially the footstep sounds. The walk is too loud and the run isn't fast enough. I hadn't thought about varying their pitch or volume during gameplay though. I'll experiment with that when I find some better effects.

You guys are some of the first to give me feedback on this project. I've tried some other channels, but I don't have much of a following on Facebook, Twitter, or Reddit, so I haven't received any other feedback. This is also the first game that I've actively sought feedback for. So thanks.

joedono
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### Re: Bump in the Night

Recorded a demo of me playing through the Wolf scenario.

ent|ty
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### Re: Bump in the Night

joedono wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:59 am
Recorded a demo of me playing through the Wolf scenario.

Hi, first post here, might as well give you feedback on what I saw in the video, haven't quite set everything up yet to test games otherwise. Since I usually watch videos or basic gameplays before I decide to play (or buy) a game, I believe my feedback can still be somewhat valid, as my concerns would affect my decision to play or not.

It seems as though you have the basics of gameplay already set out, and polish as suggested by previous replies can be added at any time, as long as the core gameplay is there first. It's okay to get the objectives, game elements and logistics finished first before concerning oneself with the graphics as much. So my feedback is based on gameplay, as my motto as an old school gamer is gameplay > graphics.

My first question would be... Where am I? A schoolhouse? An office? An abandoned building?
What I noticed first is the random nature of the level you played. It comes across as a random maze, rather than an actual location.
Your first levels, or any/every level could be much smaller, and keep things fresh changing 'scenes'. Whatever you/I was supposed to be running around in had no basis in reality, so it was hard to even get interested in the level at all.
"Hmm, an abandoned police station... I should be able to find something to protect myself with in here.. or other supplies"

Why am I here? What prompted me to be here in the first place?
What is the context or background of the game? Is it in a post-apocalyptic era where I have entered this building/area seeking something important to scavenge or obtain? Where did I come from?

"Phew, I almost got eaten by those zombies, good thing I found this warehouse to duck into... I wonder if there is something I can find in here to [fix the car outside] / [power up lights] / [etc]."
"Hmm, something smells very bad in here... like wetness, desperation and hunger... I need to be careful in here.."

What are the objectives to complete the level?
"I better avoid whatever is stinking up the place in here.. or find something to protect myself with.. I need that [gas] before I leave here"
"Hmm, this door is locked. Perhaps there is a key somewhere in here I could unlock it."
"Those wolves aren't gonna let me out without a fight.. The only way I'm getting out of here is if I take them all out (or avoid)"

The Wolves AI
Why do the wolves react to you putting down the meat (pathfinding seems to work well), but ignore you when you make a racket opening doors?
Why did they not immediately come after you after you fired the gunshots?
Why did they not at least move towards the location on the map where you (broken glass sound)?

Also, perhaps a burglar might need to 'hear' you, or 'see' you, as well as a wolf... but a wolf or dog will probably SMELL you first.
They may HEAR you first, but perhaps if they are closer to you, they begin to SMELL you, then TRACK you. Maybe they smell you first, then get close, but when you stop... or drop some meat.. they get distracted by that where you can get away.

The Challenge
Why is the level dark?
Do I need to see where the wolves are, or should they only appear on my map when I can hear or sense THEM too? Would certainly make it a much scarier/more cautious experience, and the player wouldn't just be walking full speed through the entire level without a care in the world.

Extend the Challenges to more than just the main enemies:
It's not only the wolves, but this building has broken floor boards that I can fall through... or blocked hallways of rubble, or broken stairs, or locked doors.
Maybe I need to move some boxes out of the way in a hallway to proceed, but doing so creates noise that can attract enemies.

-----------------------
There you go, some initial feedback on the game so far, hope it helps. :-D

joedono
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### Re: Bump in the Night

Omg, that's a lot of good feedback! Let's see...
ent|ty wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:48 am
My first question would be... Where am I? A schoolhouse? An office? An abandoned building?
What I noticed first is the random nature of the level you played. It comes across as a random maze, rather than an actual location.
Your first levels, or any/every level could be much smaller, and keep things fresh changing 'scenes'. Whatever you/I was supposed to be running around in had no basis in reality, so it was hard to even get interested in the level at all.
"Hmm, an abandoned police station... I should be able to find something to protect myself with in here.. or other supplies"

Why am I here? What prompted me to be here in the first place?
What is the context or background of the game? Is it in a post-apocalyptic era where I have entered this building/area seeking something important to scavenge or obtain? Where did I come from?

"Phew, I almost got eaten by those zombies, good thing I found this warehouse to duck into... I wonder if there is something I can find in here to [fix the car outside] / [power up lights] / [etc]."
"Hmm, something smells very bad in here... like wetness, desperation and hunger... I need to be careful in here.."
The answer to both these questions is the same. You are in your own house, defending against a home invasion. I wanted to capture the feeling of "invasion of personal space" with this game. Admittedly, the house is far bigger and more convoluted than any realistic house has any right to be. I plan on replaying "Gone Home" in the near future, because that had really good level design that was interesting to explore and had secrets, yet still managed to feel like a realistic house that an upper-middle-class family might own. This is eventually going to be expressed by better art in the house and an opening sequence showing the player waking up in bed. I haven't thought of a good reason why the player can't leave though...
ent|ty wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:48 am
The Wolves AI
Why do the wolves react to you putting down the meat (pathfinding seems to work well), but ignore you when you make a racket opening doors?
Why did they not immediately come after you after you fired the gunshots?
Why did they not at least move towards the location on the map where you (broken glass sound)?

Also, perhaps a burglar might need to 'hear' you, or 'see' you, as well as a wolf... but a wolf or dog will probably SMELL you first.
They may HEAR you first, but perhaps if they are closer to you, they begin to SMELL you, then TRACK you. Maybe they smell you first, then get close, but when you stop... or drop some meat.. they get distracted by that where you can get away.
I have big plans for how the AI will behave differently with the different monsters. The wolves are supposed to be more interested in the smaller snacks you have in your kitchen or leftover in the rooms than they are in munching on you. The second monster is a panther and is much more interested in the bigger meal that your body will provide. She'll catch your scent every so often and head straight for you. I plan on having other monsters implement this "homing in" mechanic too. I also have plans to make them more reactive to other things the player does, such as turning off their flashlight or using items such as the gun.
ent|ty wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 2:48 am
Extend the Challenges to more than just the main enemies:
It's not only the wolves, but this building has broken floor boards that I can fall through... or blocked hallways of rubble, or broken stairs, or locked doors.
Maybe I need to move some boxes out of the way in a hallway to proceed, but doing so creates noise that can attract enemies.
This is something that I had not considered. It's slightly less plausible because the house is supposed to be yours, so I had assumed you'd keep it in good repair. But I suppose that doesn't mean there aren't other hazards. Locked doors and boxes or some other kind of mess blocking a hallway are definitely plausible. That might be how I can spice up future playthroughs by locking a random set of doors or something. One of the later threats is an arsonist who will set fire to your house, randomly blocking off passages unless you have a bucket of water with you.

This is more feedback than I ever hoped to get. Thanks so much for taking the time to write this up!

Also, here's a new video of me attempting the Vampire scenario. The blue "pulse" animation is the aura of the vampire. It will freeze you if you try to move while inside it, or if the vampire sees you directly. Struggling by repeatedly trying to move will break the spell. I don't have a "struggling" animation yet, so it's hard to tell in the video, but every time I get close enough that the vampire's eyes light up and he starts laughing, I'm furiously pounding the D-pad on my controller to try and get away. I die because the ability currently has no cooldown. As soon as the vampire sees that you've moved, he'll activate the ability again. Having the cross in your inventory makes you immune to the aura effect, but the vampire can still freeze you with his gaze.

aidalgol
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### Re: Bump in the Night

This looks really cool! Keen to see where this goes. It reminds me of the old game Mall Monster.

joedono
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### Re: Bump in the Night

Just finished a video of the newly completed Ghost scenario. The supernatural ones are definitely more fun to build. The ghost is the first monster that reacts to whether your flashlight is on or off. If you turn on your flashlight while within it's (LARGE) detection radius, it'll come after you. But it won't be able to find you and kill you if you turn your light off and don't move until it goes away. You have to find the book and finish reading it to banish the ghost. Of course, it can also hear you when you're reading.

No new sound effects yet.

xNick1
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### Re: Bump in the Night

Very cool game
Currently working on a lucid dreaming adventure called Aarstider: http://bit.ly/2mXmgPI

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