Beta is Beta [Not sure where to actually put this one]
  • So I downloaded the beta for windows earlier today and I'm not sure I'm running it correctly (and my problems may be a direct result). Basically I just right click Chain_Gang_Chase_Beta.jar and select open with Java Platform SE Binary (so if that is wrong it could use further elaboration on the download page). I'm also assuming the game itself has come a ways since the beta was released so none of this may be relevant.

    Given the state of what I am running Its hard to find it playable let alone imagine achievements that could be implemented. Basically every time I die it goes to a black screen and I have to control alt delete to get to my desktop. Freezes after pausing the game and using the menu option to select a new map. May happen in other menu options as well but I haven't tested extensively because of how annoying it is to have to reset it.

    Gameplay wise:
    Has anyone survived the Tank round?

    Functionally it seems to me punching would feel better as one of the shoulder buttons (ie you could do it while moving without a second hand)

    The ability to get stuck between a fence peg and a tree is funny in multiplayer (and not necessarily damning because you can be shoved out of it) but automatic death/restart solo.

    Is there a quicker way to test other aspects of the game (basically you have to run 3 rails before you get access to the tank, I'm wondering if different things like the tank are implemented and how to try those)?

    My major question is has the beta been updated since the original release or are the plans to in the future because currently what I'm playing does not feel in the ballpark of done.
  • Hey! I moved this to "Bugs" for you. :-)

    First off, thanks for downloading the game and taking the time to give feedback! You raise a lot of very good and very valid points, which I'll respond to in turn:

    Your method for launching the game seems correct. You might also try just double-clicking the .jar - I'm not sure this will make any difference at all with respect to the rest of your comments. The good news is that since we've been Greenlit on Steam, we're very close to having a legitimate distribution method that will make installing / updating / launching the game much easier!

    Beta is still very Beta (ok, maybe even pre-Alpha).

    To be honest, we've focused a lot of our testing on 2+ convicts, so I'll have to go through a solo run or several and nail down those crashes. I'm considering an overhaul on the whole input system, considering a number of the crash reports have been index out of bounds errors on our input manager. Our current method of accounting for many combinations of half-controllers and keyboard input is most definitely lacking.

    Surviving the Tank boss is hard, depending on your difficulty settings - and especially so if you're the only one to shoot at. We'll definitely look into balancing that guy.

    Functionally, we decided jumping while moving was more important than punching while moving and assigned the buttons accordingly. We'll look into configurable controller layouts (although deciding which controllers the custom layout applies to might get messy and hard to configure).

    Getting stuck between a peg and a tree is rough. I'll consider a nudge or respawn option for single player. I'll also consider nixing single-player altogether (rather, requiring that one person control two convicts to play solo). Definitely open to feedback or suggestions here!

    We have a flag we can set to go 1 map, rail, and then boss but haven't exposed that to the options screen yet. Eventually, we'll let the player pick how many maps to run through. Which boss you get is currently determined by the number of players playing, and how many of them survived. And actually, in the beta it may be that you always go to Tank no matter what.

    Since the beta was released, our builds have added the "Trainyard Rush" boss mode, some bug-fixes for the controller-related crashing you experienced, and a few tweaks to artwork.

    It's a long road ahead, especially since the team has shrunk and I can only put in nights and weekends (and that usually translates to just weekends).

    I really appreciate the feedback! Please keep it coming! (And really, this sort of community interaction will help me light a fire under my butt to get this moving faster!)
  • Ah okay, the Steam announcement had me thinking you were nearing release. Did not realize they greenlit before a finished product (unless maybe for early access).

    For reference i was using a 360 controller. Also I think even with two avatars i still hung up on the black screen if both got hit by a train. I'm not sure I achieved the win condition at all actually (i thought it was surviving the tank or out running the police if the other avatar died). Even with two avatars I'm not sure the solo experience is compelling enough. The main struggle of the game is game theory itself, but that doesn't really translate to playing by your self. Solo its more about the difficulty controlling two characters at once and obviously that dies at the same time as whichever avatar bites it first (dual avatars would have been unique had bothers: a tale of two sons not existed). So yeah from the single player perspective I'm not sure you've found the game yet.

    Having typed that I do vaguely recall some game had a co-op mode where you and someone else attempted to get through an asymmetrical obstacle course requiring you both to activate or move thing to help the other. The gates and pressure plates you've got are already on par with the final leg of retrieving the sun mask in Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. A simultaneous version of that is certainly something but I'm not sure it fills a single player billing.