🎼 Parse-O-Rhythm - Wishlist on Steam!

Hey y’all,

It’l be announced in the next sunday devlog as well, but I recently added a change where if a note is too far below the player you won’t be able to hit it anymore. The Y value required to make the note not hittable anymore is very generous and this was done because you previously could slash notes under your player.

Let me know if you have any thoughts while playtesting it, thank you :slight_smile:

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Another big gameplay change has been deployed: swinging without hitting anything only counts as a miss if there is an error close by. you can basically freely swing the sword now. If you would like to playtest this new feature, feel free to send any feedback!!!

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Hooray! Now I can swing the sword when there’s nothing to do!

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Looking forword to the sunday devlog. :+1:

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:arrow_up: Sunday Devlog 4: Upgrades, People, Upgrades

Yo!! This week has been entirely focused on working on Parse-O-Rhythm, and a lot has been done and dusted! There’s even a chance that the demo gets launched by the end of next week! Let’s discuss it all in the fourth edition of these dev logs!

Parse-O-Rhythm

To get a short piece of news out of the way, the game recently hit 15,000 plays!
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The only game of mine with more plays is Universal Crumble, and at the rate things are going this is going to overtake it!

It’s kind of hard to wrap my head around, especially since that’s the amount of times the game has been opened, not the number of people who have played it. But judging on the leaderboard data from the game, it could definitely be around a thousand people, which is just insane. Thank you so much for playing despite the rather slow development (before it picked back up in May)!

Aside from that, a LOT has been done on the game, so to help split this apart decently, this will be divided into two sections: visual and gameplay changes. Let’s talk about the visual ones first.

Visual changes

The background is now done!! This has taken a good chunk of time to do - all of the math, special effects, and ability to scale up with updates after the demo has been forged into this brand new background. I’m quite proud of it and it really adds energy to the game. Playing levels has much more personality now, compared to before.

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Don’t mind the grain, that’s just because this site has a pretty strict limit on the size of stuff that can be uploaded.

Your first thought at the site of this might be “That’s awesome!!”. But your second thought is probably “oh god, that seems distracting.”. Well fret not, because right after completing this change, a new setting called “background visibility” allows you to adjust how visible the background is! The more you decrease it, the more the background blends with the default color of the game.

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When you adjust this slider, the background in the home screen also gets muted, helping you gauge how much you need to lower it.


The background at a very low visibility value, about 25%. Much easier to focus on the notes!

Aside from all that, two new buttons have come to the settings menu:

  • In-game help menu
  • Show cursor during gameplay


This menu is starting to get a little full…

The In-game help menu button will toggle the help menu during gameplay. If you didn’t really like the menu being there (it’s getting a visual change in update C as well), you can now remove it by toggling it off.

The Show cursor during gameplay button, when turned off, will hide your cursor when you start a song. Without the cursor being visible, it feels a lot more like you’re actually piloting the AI with your cursor. But this is a change not everyone would like, so it’s an option. The cursor always re-appears after a song is done and is always visible in the menus, of course.

Aside from that, the final two features that are being worked on early this upcoming week are a progress bar that shows how far along you are in a song, and the game changing the amount of “energy” in lighting and effects depending on what’s happening during the song. This will be talked about a lot more next devlog!

Gameplay changes

A poll on the discord server was aired about the air-slashing debate last week. During the discussion, @Samuel_Tomé_PixelPizza came up with an interesting idea: why not solve the debate by allowing people to swing in the air, but not when there’s an error close by?

We had a short discussion and later, I decided to give it a try. It worked ridiculously well and took like, 5 minutes to implement, so here’s the outcome!

The game now has a new radius in addition to the slash radius: the penalty radius. This is an infographic that will do a better job than me plopping down some paragraphs, and is a rough map of how the new system works.


I hope it’s easy to understand!

This also works for positive and negative slashes, so you can swing your sword in the positive (white) mode with a negative error (black) in the penalty radius and nothing will happen. Thank you, PixelPizza, for this awesome idea!

It also uses almost no performance resources, much to my surprise (usually checking a circular area can cost the computer resources), which is an added bonus.

The other big change is that you can no longer slash errors that are under the AI. When the new slash system was introduced in update A back in late January, it brought massive performance and gameplay improvements. However, because the slash area was now a circle, you could destroy errors underneath your player, even though that’s not really where the sword is swinging.

This new change includes a vertical limit for errors, before they can no longer be hit, even if they are in your circular “slash radius”. This finally puts an end to hitting errors that are below your player, which is something that has irked me for a long time.

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Before this change, you could hit an error when it was this far under your player. I know.

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However, as you can see from this screenshot, the limit is pretty generous. You can still hit errors that are right above your AI or just below it.

Both of these major gameplay changes are brand new. If you don’t mind playing the game for a bit, I would absolutely love to hear your feedback on these features before they are shipped off into the demo version. Thank you in advance!!

Nothing too noteworthy has been going on outside of the game, so that’s the end of today’s log. However, I hope that all of these changes can help make up for it. Thanks for reading and see you in the next one!!

-Encabulated Games

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I was just playing this. I am partial to the classic version, so the background is at 0%. The game is EPIC though!

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These updates all sound great, and I’m glad to help! :blush:
Everything looks really nice too

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:star: Sunday Devlog 5: Update C!

The long awaited update is finally complete! There’s a lot to go over, so let’s start with an update summary and then talk about what happened this week.

Parse-O-Rhythm Update C

User Interface

  • :boom: The combo counter has been overhauled and features a number that “dances” to the music. As your combo score gets higher, you go up in “combo ranks” which makes the number larger. There is also a “Perfect” combo rank for if your combo is 100 or higher and you have no misses yet.

  • :chart_with_upwards_trend: As your combo rank improves, there is now complimentary text underneath the combo UI that says things like “Great! Rhythmic!! Perfect!!!” Depending on your scores.

  • :page_with_curl: The small “button manual” UI to the left has been adjusted and is now readable regardless of language, and it also blends better with the game.

  • :watch: In the top left of the corner, there is now a progress bar that shows how far along the song you are, in addition to the song title.

  • :1st_place_medal: Next to the combo UI, there is now a small letter that shows what your final rank currently is.

  • :door: There is now a button in the results screen that restarts the song instead of sending you back to the main menu.

Gameplay

  • :x: If you swing your sword, don’t hit anything, and there isn’t anything too close to the sword, a miss is no longer counted. This means you can now freely swing your sword in the tutorial and between sections of notes with no penalties at all.

Visuals

  • :city_sunset: There is now an endlessly scrolling background that is set to different speeds depending on the “difficulty” of the song. The “cityscape” on the top and bottom move in opposite directions, and the clouds in the middle move at a slower pace. The background is also accompanied with a rotating disc, and laser lights behind it that flash the respective colors of notes that you destroy.

  • :zap: The game now switches between two “energy levels” depending on where you are in a song. The energy level affects how strong visual effects are (mostly the background), so that the game reacts better to the song as it plays.

  • :sparkles: There’s a brand new thumbnail for the game’s web version! (Shown at the top of this entry)

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Accessibility

  • :black_large_square: There is now a slider that controls how visible the background is. Dragging it will cause the background to be more “muted” towards the base blueish background color. If you prefer the background to be less prominent or don’t want one at all, here’s your solution!

  • :white_check_mark: There are two new toggleable buttons in the settings menu - one that toggles the help menu on the left on and off, and one that toggles the mouse’s visibility during gameplay. I’ve noticed that the mouse being invisible during gameplay can help add to the feeling that you’re really piloting the AI with the cursor, but not everyone will like this change, so it’s a setting you can toggle!

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The following issues have been fixed:

  • Pressing “s” to start a track worked before the scene fully loaded in
  • In the options menu, you could still select the buttons that are covered up by the menu in the main menu (for example hitting “/files” while the options menu is open)
  • Numerous links weren’t working due to issues with the URL behavior
  • Adjusting bars in settings produced audio issues
  • If you toggled fullscreen on or off during gameplay, it wouldn’t save for when you left the level.

Additionally

There is now a promo screen for the steam version in the game! The storepage is currently in review, so the button to go there hasn’t been enabled quite yet.

Update conclusion

This massive update concludes updates for the web version. All energy and effort will now be put into developing the full version for Steam! Maintenance updates may still happen, but no major features will be delivered to the web version anymore.

:rotating_light:Update log ends here!

Not all, but most of these features have already been discussed in previous dev logs. So let’s take a look at what else has been going on!

Uploading the game

Last week, I entered this week with the prospect I was going to be able to submit the game for review by the end of the week, maybe even launch it. This was because Steam’s developer interface stated that a review of a game build would take 2-3 business days. So, going into the week, I got to work finishing up the final update for the web version and bug testing the demo to make sure it worked.

However, things went wrong quickly. There were a few bugs that had slipped through the cracks, one of which allowed you to get a 100% on a track by playing it, hitting a note and leaving. Thankfully, nobody playing the web version knew that a massive hole had been ripped in the scoring system before I fixed it.


WHyyyyyyyyyyy

Second, to upload a game to Steam, you don’t simply drag and drop. No, you use an entire thing called an “SDK”. I honestly don’t know what it means, but you drag your game’s files into part of it, go to another part of it, open up a weird window that looks like it’s from the 1990s and enter a bunch of information that has to perfectly match with the store page. On top of making sure things lined up, I also had issues with entering my own account information, making it even more cumbersome.


This is one of the user interfaces ever.

Eventually, after waiting 30 minutes for a cooldown, I finally managed to get the demo into steam at a glorious 4:30 AM.

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Yay!

I then filled out a bunch of information about the game on the developer interface, made sure there were no error messages, and got ready to submit the game build to Steam for review. When I saw this:

It turned out that I had to submit the store page for review first. Something I hadn’t even started yet. Sooo, yeah…

In conclusion, despite an insane push to get things done that lasted until the sun was literally shining through my window, I was not able to obtain any hope of the game getting a Steam page by the end of this week. But it’s not all doom and gloom, because with this task out of the way, the most complicated and annoying part of uploading a Steam game had been completed. All I needed was to make the store page.

Making promotional assets

For the next few days, knowing I wasn’t under a deadline (for a bit), I got to work on promotional assets for the game. The idea is that you make a bunch of pictures and pieces, and then when you need them for something, you can just drag them all together in any shape or size.

For example, a Steam game requires you to upload many different images, for showcase in the games library, store, games list, and more. If you have a collection of a logo, some elements and a background, you can just copy and paste these to any image size you like and then throw them all in!

Making all of the promotional assets took a decent chunk of time, but it will definitely pay off in the form of an awesome looking store page, so I’m not complaining :slight_smile: . The single thing that took the most time was definitely the player swinging their sword to destroy an error - it took a lot of adjusting before I felt like it was good to go. It looks like a complex art piece, but I can assure you that it was really just a bunch of simple steps chained together (like using a circle in the background to make the sword slash, then using the skew tool to add perspective and make it look like the sword is going forward).


The more I use vector art programs the better I get at them

Anyway, that’s it for this week’s dev log. I have to make the steam page for the game tonight if I want the game demo and store page to be on steam before the end of the week, so it’s back to the grind I go. Thanks for reading as always! :slight_smile:

-Encabulated Games

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Doesn’t SDK mean software development kit?

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Does it? I never bothered to google it, all I knew was that it’s related to Android in some sense lol.

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When the audio file says it’s a .css file AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Also incredibly epic! Amazing that you’re making so much progress on it and uploading it to steam :tada:

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Lmao :slight_smile:

Thanks a bunch, I wish you luck uploading your game to steam later as well, as it’s a massive achievement to do so!

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Just got a new headset with crazy sound! I can’t wait to play this again.

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I love how a lot of amazing games form due to Game Jams, honestly I’m really excited to see future updates and play this one myself!

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Really impressive and amazing to see.
Also interesting to read devlogs
You’ve been hard at work, Flowlab is lucky to have Members like you :fire:

Hope to reach where you are someday :thought_balloon::crossed_fingers:
I think I’m going to annoy you if that time ever comes :smile:

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Lol wdym by “reach where I am”? You’ve been using flowlab a lot longer and have a lot of skills that surpass mine lol

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i like the effects

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I think he means the state to get a finished fleshed out project that you upload to steam or something like that

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no background color changes? :sob:
so depressed rn

They’ll be coming in the full version :slight_smile: .

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