Sass VS Fash: Girlballs of Steel - a thread

Status
Not open for further replies.

JMAAMusic

ACAB
Jan 15, 2016
17
8
13
Gender
Non binary
So I have had this game in development ever since a while, and it's been a while since I opened its Kickstarter.

Now, Sass VS Fash, is a Wolfenstein styled retro FPS with a transgender femme protagonist whose mission is to eliminate the Führer Johann Weiss. Plays as much as you'd expect from Wolfenstein 3D, except with additions such as more mobility, with dashing and wallrunning. Hopefully the level design will abide by this new mobility by having more verticality.

Also it's pretty much a game nazis will obviously despise.

Here is the link to everything, including the demo and the Kickstarter.

Feel free to give out feedback in this thread. I'll be watching and replying as far as I go.
Screenshot_954.pngScreenshot_955.pngScreenshot_956.pngScreenshot_957.pngScreenshot_958.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheMysteriousGX

Dreiko

Elite Member
Legacy
May 1, 2020
1,975
642
118
CT
Country
usa
Gender
male, pronouns: your majesty/my lord/daddy
Hold up, never mind about the game, I'm really interested in the time machine you used to playtest the game during 30s Germany and get nazi feedback. The implications are stupendous!
 

JMAAMusic

ACAB
Jan 15, 2016
17
8
13
Gender
Non binary
Hold up, never mind about the game, I'm really interested in the time machine you used to playtest the game during 30s Germany and get nazi feedback. The implications are stupendous!
You'll be surprised there's still a good bunch of GamerGater nazis to this day.

Yeah, the title is good. No idea what Drath is on about.
I think the whole title thing is because I originally intended to make half a porn game, but I scrapped that.
 

JMAAMusic

ACAB
Jan 15, 2016
17
8
13
Gender
Non binary
Like Hdoom?
Well... no. The whole idea was to have certain visual novel sections with porn, but I didn't think that would be any good if you'd wanted to stream the game on a platform like, say, Twitch.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

Wild at Heart and weird on top
Legacy
Jan 30, 2011
1,667
375
88
Not gonna disparage anyone from realizing a creative project, if you have an idea and the means to realize it, go for it by all means. But here's some feedback from my side:

For something that gives of the impression of going for something kind of punk and irreverent, I feel like just going for literal 1930's style Nazis is a bit... safe, I guess? Don't get me wrong, it's a Wolfenstein homage, I get it, but as you pointed out:

You'll be surprised there's still a good bunch of GamerGater nazis to this day.
so... why not make it about them? And this might just be a personal thing, but I killed 1930's Nazis in dozens of games. But there never was a game that let me kill 2010's Nazis. I feel a game that let me fight the MAGA Proudboy Identitarian variety of neofascist would both be more original and more provocative towards actual far right extremists than the same old historical enemy with the same old historical aesthethics.

Other than that... I really do wish you the best for your project and keep in mind, that's all purely personal impressions.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
Legacy
Jan 16, 2010
15,672
1,318
118
But there never was a game that let me kill 2010's Nazis.
Huh, now that you mention it, yeah, it of a lack. Rainbow Six: Raven Shield is around 2005 Nazis, but as generic terrorists with no real Nazi trappings.

I guess they don't want to alienate a big chunk of their fans.
 

JMAAMusic

ACAB
Jan 15, 2016
17
8
13
Gender
Non binary
Not gonna disparage anyone from realizing a creative project, if you have an idea and the means to realize it, go for it by all means. But here's some feedback from my side:

For something that gives of the impression of going for something kind of punk and irreverent, I feel like just going for literal 1930's style Nazis is a bit... safe, I guess? Don't get me wrong, it's a Wolfenstein homage, I get it, but as you pointed out:



so... why not make it about them? And this might just be a personal thing, but I killed 1930's Nazis in dozens of games. But there never was a game that let me kill 2010's Nazis. I feel a game that let me fight the MAGA Proudboy Identitarian variety of neofascist would both be more original and more provocative towards actual far right extremists than the same old historical enemy with the same old historical aesthethics.

Other than that... I really do wish you the best for your project and keep in mind, that's all purely personal impressions.
Sorry for the late reply, I had to get back home for a while and I have 30 mins before my LifeAfterHate session, but I understand your feedback, these 1930's looking nazi mofo's are pretty much overdone in games, and I get that. HOWEVER, I have to point out a little key point that maybe people are starting to overlook:

The game is set in the year 2025, maybe it's not that noticeable since this is just a 1-level Kickstarter demo and there's not too many details that imply it is set in the current year or something, but this is set in that year, and it heavily implies it happens pretty much after GamerGate, Trump and all that nazi-tier shit. It just so happens lore-wise that these nazis, who are possessed by Elder God magick, are pretty nostalgic of 1930's Nazi Germany, in fact, they seem to emulate that time period's Germany a lot because, since the Germany coup they did that started the regime, they had to recycle a lot of WWII museum stuff. The Führer, Dark Weiss as he's called here, is basically a millenial in his 30's.

I didn't want to go into detail on the lore of the game and future games because quite frankly that doesn't make a good Kickstarter pitch, I just had to briefly sum it all up into a synopsis for the whole game so people can get a basic idea of the setting, but I hope this tidbit of a detail clarifies your question. Possibly I'd have to build up the setting a lot more when I get the game funded and start continuing the game's development with not just the retro FPS bits but also the visual novel bits, which I might start thinking they should be rather long animated cutscenes in the end, but still. It's good that you recognize the cliché of videogame nazis though, because I want this game and future games regarding this particular side of the lore multiverse that I got in my head to feel like it's whatever happens after GamerGate and Trump, and not just yet another WWII game.

Maybe I gotta start putting more current year visual elements in the game, like smartphones, modern PC's and all. Don't worry, that comes for WAY later. In the meantime, there's the Kickstarter, and you can help it happen.
 

Dwarvenhobble

Is on the Gin
May 26, 2020
5,091
563
118
You'll be surprised there's still a good bunch of GamerGater nazis to this day.


I think the whole title thing is because I originally intended to make half a porn game, but I scrapped that.
So you know that's a banned topic round there parts right?

Only fair to warn you because otherwise it means people are allowed to be nasty back to you if you wish to insist on bringing up certain events that were banned for a reason here and use said events to try and insult others.
 

JMAAMusic

ACAB
Jan 15, 2016
17
8
13
Gender
Non binary
So you know that's a banned topic round there parts right?

Only fair to warn you because otherwise it means people are allowed to be nasty back to you if you wish to insist on bringing up certain events that were banned for a reason here and use said events to try and insult others.
I am sorry about that. I haven't been in the Escapist forums and I'm pretty much new here to be honest. Didn't really mean to bring up the topic at hand for potential bad agents to use it as an excuse to attack others. But it' was my way of saying modern-day nazis, if that's a relief.
 

Drathnoxis

Artificial Person
Legacy
Sep 23, 2010
4,199
960
118
Country
Canada
Gender
Male
So you know that's a banned topic round there parts right?

Only fair to warn you because otherwise it means people are allowed to be nasty back to you if you wish to insist on bringing up certain events that were banned for a reason here and use said events to try and insult others.
Advertising is against the rules too.
 

EvilRoy

The face I make when I see unguarded pie.
Legacy
Jan 9, 2011
1,691
379
88
Played the demo, got some feedback.

In terms of basic movement and aiming the game feels decent. The walk speed is a decent clip, and I can tell there's a little autocorrect in the aim but its not obnoxious. Its clear some effort has gone into polishing the basics.

Sound is reasonably good, but its a little too retro - the scratchyness of the audio makes it tough to tell what the guys are yelling, even if its random curses in German.

Enemies are fine as standard mooks. The AI is a little weak, but its right on the level of what you would do for a standard cannon fodder mook anyway so I wouldn't worry about improving it too much until you get to the later stages where enemies are supposed to be more challenging. Try not to fall into the "more health/damage = higher tier enemy" trap. That approach only gets you so far because in order for them to work you have to have really empty levels so they don't get stuck on shit, and you end up with really boring level design. The animations for attacking and dying are solid though, and aside from potentially adding additional intermediate frames they don't need to change much.

You gotta tighten up your roofs and add a deathfloor outside the map for sure. I was testing wallrunning and I hit a rafter, popped out of the map, wandered around a bit and tried to jump to my death only to fall eternally.

Speaking of wallrunning, its a neat idea to work it into a Wolfenstein/Doom style shooter, but you need to spend a bit more time figuring out how to make it feel a bit more natural. It can be activated by accident by jumping with a wall to your back, and its really easy to just keep doing it forever. Maybe check out the Prince of Persia Sands of Time series for an idea of how to make wallrunning feel good in the physics engine, and how to limit it while keeping it fun. As it is, when I tried to wallrun around and shoot the bad guys, I was moving way too fast to aim, they had no problem hitting me, and I kept getting hung up on rafters and shit. In first person its easy to not even realize you're doing it as well, because there's no real change to speed or trajectory so you just kind of float around walls randomly while playing sometimes. This came to my attention when I tried to jump on a table to try to pick stuff up and instead I flew past it and shot around a corner. Also the instant directional change on wall corners is really disorienting.

You should look at games like Doom for cues on your HUD. What you've got is functional, and the drawings on the main character look good, but you picked a font thats pretty hard to read for ammo and health, and its nice to have an indicator of what/how many weapons you have on hand.The trenchgun and pistol look really similar so without a HUD indicator its tough to tell what you have equipped until you fire.

I think all that is pretty standard for an early demo like this. I can see where you're going and there's clear effort being put in to get stuff to work, you just need to spend a bit more time workshopping your mechanics and playing with the physics engine to tighten up. Remember that level design is half the game, so if you want to have something like wallrunning, you need to design levels so there's fun stuff to use wallrunning for in the primary gameplay loop. The primary loop is shooting nazis, so you need to work wallrunning into shooting nazis.

Aesthetic -wise, I think you're gonna have to depart from the classic look you went for a bit. Your synopsis above says that this is 2025, but the masonry and rafter design hearkens back a century earlier. Being nostalgic for the 1940's is one thing and can be argued away for your enemy dress style, sleeping in a damp smelly masonry building is another. I know you're going for the evil nazi throwback look, but we don't build structures that way anymore and haven't for decades, and most people would wilt at the prospect of sleeping in an era-appropriate castle - you can't run ethernet cables through stone masonry walls. You don't have to go for futuristic chrome on every surface, but it will work against your story if your visible setting is so displaced from the written setting.

If you want a modern look that comes across kind of wrong look up McMansions, and if you want something sinister check out photos of experimental architecture. Its not all bad in either case, but you will periodically come across photos of structures that will make you feel uncomfortable. The blog "McMansion Hell" is really good for pointing out stuff that makes a structure unattractive/wrong feeling that people typically 'feel' rather than 'see'. Intentionally designing structure interiors/exteriors 'wrong' can help bring across a feeling of uneasiness/badness in a modern setting without having to resort to the bludgeon of the damp castle dungeon.
 

JMAAMusic

ACAB
Jan 15, 2016
17
8
13
Gender
Non binary
Played the demo, got some feedback.

In terms of basic movement and aiming the game feels decent. The walk speed is a decent clip, and I can tell there's a little autocorrect in the aim but its not obnoxious. Its clear some effort has gone into polishing the basics.

Sound is reasonably good, but its a little too retro - the scratchyness of the audio makes it tough to tell what the guys are yelling, even if its random curses in German.

Enemies are fine as standard mooks. The AI is a little weak, but its right on the level of what you would do for a standard cannon fodder mook anyway so I wouldn't worry about improving it too much until you get to the later stages where enemies are supposed to be more challenging. Try not to fall into the "more health/damage = higher tier enemy" trap. That approach only gets you so far because in order for them to work you have to have really empty levels so they don't get stuck on shit, and you end up with really boring level design. The animations for attacking and dying are solid though, and aside from potentially adding additional intermediate frames they don't need to change much.

You gotta tighten up your roofs and add a deathfloor outside the map for sure. I was testing wallrunning and I hit a rafter, popped out of the map, wandered around a bit and tried to jump to my death only to fall eternally.

Speaking of wallrunning, its a neat idea to work it into a Wolfenstein/Doom style shooter, but you need to spend a bit more time figuring out how to make it feel a bit more natural. It can be activated by accident by jumping with a wall to your back, and its really easy to just keep doing it forever. Maybe check out the Prince of Persia Sands of Time series for an idea of how to make wallrunning feel good in the physics engine, and how to limit it while keeping it fun. As it is, when I tried to wallrun around and shoot the bad guys, I was moving way too fast to aim, they had no problem hitting me, and I kept getting hung up on rafters and shit. In first person its easy to not even realize you're doing it as well, because there's no real change to speed or trajectory so you just kind of float around walls randomly while playing sometimes. This came to my attention when I tried to jump on a table to try to pick stuff up and instead I flew past it and shot around a corner. Also the instant directional change on wall corners is really disorienting.

You should look at games like Doom for cues on your HUD. What you've got is functional, and the drawings on the main character look good, but you picked a font thats pretty hard to read for ammo and health, and its nice to have an indicator of what/how many weapons you have on hand.The trenchgun and pistol look really similar so without a HUD indicator its tough to tell what you have equipped until you fire.

I think all that is pretty standard for an early demo like this. I can see where you're going and there's clear effort being put in to get stuff to work, you just need to spend a bit more time workshopping your mechanics and playing with the physics engine to tighten up. Remember that level design is half the game, so if you want to have something like wallrunning, you need to design levels so there's fun stuff to use wallrunning for in the primary gameplay loop. The primary loop is shooting nazis, so you need to work wallrunning into shooting nazis.

Aesthetic -wise, I think you're gonna have to depart from the classic look you went for a bit. Your synopsis above says that this is 2025, but the masonry and rafter design hearkens back a century earlier. Being nostalgic for the 1940's is one thing and can be argued away for your enemy dress style, sleeping in a damp smelly masonry building is another. I know you're going for the evil nazi throwback look, but we don't build structures that way anymore and haven't for decades, and most people would wilt at the prospect of sleeping in an era-appropriate castle - you can't run ethernet cables through stone masonry walls. You don't have to go for futuristic chrome on every surface, but it will work against your story if your visible setting is so displaced from the written setting.

If you want a modern look that comes across kind of wrong look up McMansions, and if you want something sinister check out photos of experimental architecture. Its not all bad in either case, but you will periodically come across photos of structures that will make you feel uncomfortable. The blog "McMansion Hell" is really good for pointing out stuff that makes a structure unattractive/wrong feeling that people typically 'feel' rather than 'see'. Intentionally designing structure interiors/exteriors 'wrong' can help bring across a feeling of uneasiness/badness in a modern setting without having to resort to the bludgeon of the damp castle dungeon.
Hey, thanks for the feedback. I'm looking forward to make a lot of these changes whenever I can get back on development. Only one thing though: where precisely did you pop out the map? Maybe I missed something, but I was not aware of any openings in the map that lead out of the bounds.

And yes, I got to implement more current year tech into the levels, I know that. This is just the first level, so there's not really much in it. Future levels and episodes will have more of the 2025 architecture in there most likely, but that's for way later.
 

JoJo

and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Goat 🐐
Moderator
Legacy
Mar 31, 2010
7,147
94
53
Country
🇬🇧
Gender
♂
Please don't use the forums for advertising -- thanks!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.