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by ChanceTheCheetah | 2021
is a small and fast paced game about being chased. You have been cursed by the seven lesser and spiteful gods to be hunted down till the end of your days by seven cosmic entities who will follow your every action. Never rest. Never stop moving.
Cosmic Clones features 10 levels and with an average playtime of about 20 minutes!
It's a short and sweet, and you can download it for free below. Might be a little rough around the edges but give it a go ♥
This game was made over fourteen days for the 2021 'Level Up Circle: Beginner Jam 3' on Itch.io to prove to myself I could actually complete a video game.
Also shoutout to the sister game, Art the Father and the 7 Deadly Sins. They were working just as hard as I was throughout the whole jam.
NOTICE: For some reason this may get flagged by your antivirus, it seems to hate my game for some reason.
I don't know how to fix this, just tell your antivirus thing it's going to be okay.
There's only a 0.02% chance that it may hack your keyboard, i'm pretty sure I fixed that bug...
- Game, Art, and SFX by ChanceTheCheetah
- Public Domain Music by Komiku! Listen to 'A Tale is never forgotten' Here!
- Engebrechtre Font by Typodermic Fonts
Made in GameMakerStudio2
- Also using Clip Studio Paint, Lab Chirp, Notepad++
- Thanks Kirbo for Playtesting
Things get wordy beyond this point. Read on if you're interested in the design process for this game!
The important part of a gamejam however isn't so much the destination as it is the journey, and what you learn along the way.
For those that are interested in what I learned I will shed some insight in the journey this game took, and what went right, and what went wrong.
The night before the jam started I had prepped my engine of choice: GameMaker Studio 2 and awaited the announcement of the jam's theme.
The theme was simply "7."
I was ready for anything, I was not ready for "7."
I had trouble with ideas, but the first one with any legs to stand on was 'Seven Curses.' You'd be blighted with seven conditions meant to annoy and hassle you and you would have to play around them in a little top-down shooter trying to survive with them all with your little bow.
The seven curses I settled on were:
- Random Teleportation a Short Distance
- Weapon Jamming
- Shots get a Random Trajectory
- Rotting Health Disease
- Missed Shots Return to Sender
- ...and a series of clones that follow your movements.
And then got to work programming, one by one.
However, there's one thing I realized when playtesting this. It turns out when you design something to be annoying -- it's well... annoying!
I also came to a parallel realization while programming the clones...
They're really fun!
This was a major moment in the development of the game, where I followed the fun. The clones took by far the most amount of time to program, and ended up being a joy to play around with, even in a black obstacle-less room with no objectives. I immediately hard pivoted into exploring this new idea, dropping the rest of the curses entirely.
I felt with having seven of clones they could still fit the theme, and it also paired nicely with the different colors of the rainbow.
There were other lessons learned as well.
1. Even though it was spur of the moment decision, recording highlights of the process was completely invaluable. Not only was it fun to document and celebrate those little monuments, but being able to pull back the curtain and look back in time has saved my ass with remembering things a few times.
2. One of the most important things I learned was that SOUND EFFECTS ARE VITAL for feel. Get them in early! The moment I added basic sound effects to my game, it completely changed the mood. The character no longer felt like they were just sliding around a black background, your actions have weight. It made playtesting and debugging a lot nicer.
3. One thing that didn't go so well were the tilesets. My system for tilesets absolutely sucked. The baseline tile editor in GameMaker isn't great, and I was manually placing collision objects onto every tile which is horrendous, and is likely responsible for almost all the jank with controlling your character and dashing between platforms.
I spent no time on developing that system and I suffered for it gravely when it came to doing the levels.
4. I knew going in that playtesting was going to be important, and I allocated time for it. However I didn't realize how important it was, and I should've perhaps gotten way more playtesters and spent way more time doing it before the deadline. There are even developers out there that do a playtest first model to development.
The playtesting I did get done was still crucial though, and was most apparent with the shield indicators for shielded totems. There was a real gap there between how I understood them while designing them, and the fact that someone just picking up the game wouldn't understand or notice how they work at all without the added feedback.
Iterations of the player sprite through development.
5. There's one place I feel like I really came short, arguably one of the most important places was the character sprite.
I really feel like the original really janky character sprite I doodled up in about 2 minutes looks alot more charming than some of the later redesigns. It's got a cute style to it. Which I struggled to recapture with later sprites. And also the clear lack of grasp I have on animating walk cycles kinda makes them more jarring than if I'd probably just stuck with that original sprite sliding too and fro.
Last but certainly not least -- as someone writing this 2 years after when the game should've been uploaded -- I still have things I need to figure out about myself too.
Three days before the end of the jam, maintenance happened to the internet on my street which resulted in me losing internet for a week.
It didn't really impact development as it was all offline and I could look up info on my phone. However when it came time to release I wasn't able to make a page on itch, nor did my submission go through at all on my phone as I found out later.
I decided then, I would take some time off to recuperate, and then I would come back and polish up the game a little and release it with a complete detailed page and devlog.... That however just ended up sending my momentum to the shadow realm.
And then as time passed the embarassment started to creep in. The game wasn't all that it could've been. I could see all of the flaws and issues and wasn't sure about the story or how it was told as that was a last minute addition. I just dragged my feet. Weeks turned into months, and months into two years.
I've gotten around to it now that those feelings have mostly faded and I can just accept the game for what it is.
It's still been a good learning experience though. It's not a game I'd really make if left to my own devices as I tend to love content-rich games that are about exploration and fantastical worlds -- but that game probably would've been overambitious and never got completed at all so I'm still glad I made this.
I really learned a lot, I really pushed myself, and it was a huge amount of fun.
Concept art for setting.
Ideas for the different deities from when the idea of the game had distinctive gods and curses.
Rough design sketches for the Lone Archer.
If you've made it this far the last bit of bonus content I have is the original playtest version of the game. I playtested really late so the game is actually fully content complete at this point, but it contains all the original programmer art before I did my art and polish pass on the game.
There's not any juicy secrets or anything, it's basically just the original game but with unfinished art and some of the levels are a bit harder.
For real though that is a direct link to an old version, see the get the actual game on Itch.io