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BigSilverBear

Great Game But...

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I'm a big fan of Castle Crashers and on that basis I downloaded the demo for Battleblock Theater when it came out. I thought it was just ok but downloaded it anyway as it did show potential. Playing through the game I enjoyed it more and more. It wasn't until I played Insane mode though that it really clicked for me. I've spent a fair bit of time playing the game over the last week or so in solo, with my little boy and a friend over Xbox Live. It all works really well and the more I play it the more I enjoy it.

 

So the point of this post is that while the game is great, there are some things I would have liked added or changed.

 

Firstly, I would have liked a quick select button for the weapons in the game. The bumpers on the control pad aren't really used (I know LB displays the Gem and Yarn count) but I think these would be better used to manually scroll through the weapons so you can switch on the go instead of pausing the game and then going through the Customise Character menu etc. A small thing I know but still would have been nice.

 

My next wish would be for individual level Leaderboards which displayed grades and time completed. I know there is an overall leaderboard for Gems but it's not really showing me anything other than how much other people have played.

 

I think my biggest gripe though is with the Level Editor process. I'm a big fan of LittleBigPlanet and spent some time toying with the Level Editor on there but due to the complexities of it I never actually finished or published a level. I've had a look at the Editor on BBT and while it's not as complex as that of LBP's it actually appeals to me more as I think I could create levels much faster and without trying to work out why things are not working as they should. The Editor itself seems pretty robust but my complaint (I guess it's a complaint) is that I can't publish a single level, if I want to create a Story level I have to create a whole Playlist of 15 levels. I'm pretty sure I could sink a few hours into a level or two and do my best to tweak them until I was happy enough to put them out there but 15 levels is a mammoth task. I'm not going to publish some rushed levels just to get them out there and I don't know if I have it in me to design so many levels at anything near the standard already in the game. I'm still thinking about having a go at it but the sheer amount of work does put me off. Maybe it will be the same with others too and affect how many levels actually get created... I would have liked to have seen maybe an option for a smaller Playlist in there.

 

Feel free to correct me if these options are actually already in the game, maybe I have missed something.

 

Is there anything else that anyone would like to see changed or added to the game?

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It's great to see someone clearly address their likes and dislikes of the game.

 

When the beta was running we discussed the weapon select and the reason you have to go into the menu to change your weapon was so that you were at a disadvantage in arena mode, your character helplessly dying whilst you frantically flick through your characteristics. I agree it can be frustrating but it does help balance the game.

 

I would LOVE to see individual level leaderboards, sometimes I feel the time I did a level in was so amazing that I simply must have been the fastest in the world :P I'm not sure about the logistics of getting these up and running but it would be awesome.

 

Personally, although I love this game, I feel slightly misled by the trailers. I was expecting a lot more co op play where you can suddenly turn on your team mate and the first to the end was the winner. Whilst you can turn on your team mate and kick them into some spikes for instance, it makes no real difference to the outcome of the game. The gap between the arena and main game is also quite large, I feel like most will buy this game because of their love of puzzles and platformers, but most of the arena modes don't appeal to these interests. I still enjoy playing arena, but it's very much a different game.

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Thanks!

 

Let me address a couple points to shed some light on why the design decisions came out the way they did;

 

Being able to switch weapons at the press of a button is a nightmare for anyone on the receiving end.  A grenade followed by a boomerang followed by a fan followed by ice... Not a fun event for most players. Not being able to predict what someone will be doing from moment to moment removes most of the meaningful/strategic/predicted interactions between two fighters.  Though I'll agree in co-operative modes this can be a bit of a pain at times.  However, I tried to keep the mechanics as blanketed as possible so players were not entirely confused when hopping around all the different game modes.

 

As for the editor comments;

 

Levels require more than 3 levels (or a full playlist) before uploading is allowed for a variety of reasons.  A couple of these motivations being respect for not only people browsing the list, but for players creating levels.  If someone spends their time making a full playlist only to be shoved off the page in 5 minutes by people uploading one level then there is a problem with the system.  It is double-edged in ways as it forces a user to be mindful when creating these but also requires a lot of invested time.  I'd argue that this is the better end of the deal, though it does come with some sacrifices no doubt.

 

Another is that someone hosting these levels will have to create a new lobby every time they run out of levels to play.  An average level might take someone 3 minutes.  If there's only 1, then they'll have to host and wait around for someone for 1-2 minutes to go play another 3 minute level.  This is not an ideal situation as it ruins flow and stresses the database to boot.

 

Plus, Furbottom will be featuring full playlists!  He needs a constant intake for players to have fresh content every time.

 

Thanks for your feedback, it is duly noted.  Glad you're enjoying your time!

 

 

Personally, although I love this game, I feel slightly misled by the trailers.  

I was expecting a lot more co op play where you can suddenly turn on your team mate and the first to the end was the winner.

 

I am not sure where the trailers seem to have insinuated that you'd be competing with your friend as far as reaching the exit first is concerned.  But, sorry that happened!

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Boiled Frogs - I have to admit that I've only played the Arena modes with my son. They were ok, but not why I bought the game and not why I would continue to play it (although the Race event does appeal to me - but then that's basically a Time Trial of the main game).

 

danp - I can understand the weapon select issue now, I was looking at it solely from the Story side of the game as I don't really play the Arena modes and never gave a thought as to how it could be used/abused in Arena.

 

The Level Editor decision makes a little more sense now also. I have to admit that there are a ton of bad levels (definitely more than good) available in LBP. I guess these people churning silly levels (solely for Trophys in some cases) could/would be put off when tasked with making more levels. I'm still thinking about giving it a go, I always wanted to make my own game...

 

Any news on the individual Leaderboards? Is there any chance this could be integrated later on?

 

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my post, I think it's great that you do that. I know some other developers forums that remove/ban/delete anything that isn't praising their game to the heavens...

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I am not sure where the trailers seem to have insinuated that you'd be competing with your friend as far as reaching the exit first is concerned.  But, sorry that happened!

 

Thanks Dan, to be honest this is probably my fault, I think I caught one clip from an event where 2 players killing each other whilst completing a level and assumed that was the basis of the whole game. As Bigsilverbear said, it's great that you take the time to reply from such an objective standpoint when you've poured your heart and soul into this.

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One thing my sister pointed out that I totally agree with is that we feel that the results sheet at the end should display your time completed and number of deaths. Maybe have your best time posted on or near the little screens in the lobby too?

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its probably really stressful on the system to keep track of so many small things, tho it would be cool. it does suck about the level editor, but if u do a little at a time, save and come back, eventually u should hav somethin great :D

personally i wish playlists would consist of more than 3 levels, those are way too short as it is :P

i think it should be obvious that nothin created will ever be perfect, but that doesnt mean it cant be perfect for u :)

while it is very important to let the creators kno what exactly u liked/disliked in the product in a clear and polite way so they can flip thru the criticisms to see what needs to be addressed, its also important to kno there are always reasons behind every decision, usually made for the better of all over a few.

overall i love this game, the 2 previous games, n the developers style overall. especially dan p's art style.... so perfect, vibrant, colorful, simple, it really is awesome. anyway, good convo!

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Playlists do consist of more than 3 levels!  You can have up to 15 (wait, is that right?  somewhere around there)!

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I might as well hijack this thread and share some feedback of mine. Don't misinterpret this post - I am absolutely in love with this game - but I have a few small gripes with the game:

 

+ The transition time between levels is kind lengthy and feels like a waste of time. I would have liked a way to skip the "stamp"-animation after every completed.

+ Similar issue: dying in finale and encore levels on Insane is VERY annoying. You have to sit through a 10-second-ish animation and (if it's an encore) hammer Y to reset the level. Why was the regular, quick reset animation not used? Was this an oversight?

+ Where are the finale decorations in the level editor!? I want to decorate the stage with all those wacky signs and background decorations from the campaign!

 

Also, the left analogue stick deadzone is very tight. I sent a support ticket regarding this, but in short, some Xbox 360 controllers don't always revert to the absolute center and can sometimes get stuck in a *slightly* upward/downward/left/right angle. This is the case of both of my Xbox 360 controllers. Usually, this is not a problem, but for games like BBT that have a very small deadzone it can lead to some annoying consequences. For example, if I duck and release the stick, my character does not stop ducking until I push it in any other direction and if I move the selector down one step in a menu or the level editor, the selector does not respond to additional "down taps" until I tilt the stick in a different direction (see this thread on a separate game for more info - it's the very same problem I am having (and sadly, after doing some googling this controller issue doesn't seem to be *that* rare)).

So my question is - is there any chance the deadzone could be relaxed just a liiiittleeee with future title updates?

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I would love to have a leaderboard for stage clear times!

I'm currently speed-running some stages and I can say

that I have almost mastered the arena challenge stages.

Too bad I can't show of my times :(.

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I have to say.. i spent about 24 hours total making an adventure playlist perfect, and ready for furbottoms. When it got put into arena, I just lost all interest for the game. I did everything right, and apparently it cant be moved.. Not even by Behemoth Staff? :/ It just kinda ruined the game for me, noone can even adventureplay my maps now, cause its in arena. It got put there without even asking me. Needs a major fix. Sorry for the negativity :(

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Wierd things sometimes happen to me too. I am playing co op, me and my friend activate a checkpoint flag and a few seconds later, I die (which obviously is not the problem). Instead of spawning by my friend or by the the checkpoint, I spawn in a previous part of the level (that isn't even close to a checkpoint). And this happened to me a lot.

It is very minor, but gets annoying.

Don't get me wrong, I love this game, but this would need to be fixed during the next update.

Edited by ChampionRage

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I've had some of the other issues listed above also:

 

Would definitely like a breakdown of each levels completion above/below the door rather than just the A, B, C etc If the time could be included all the better!

 

The co-op check point can be a little frustrating. When playing with a buddy it's fine as we're both fair players but with my son sometimes even a basic bit of platforming can be an effort... To see him die and then spawn a ways back so I have to go and help him rework a puzzle or section of the level is a little frustrating (especially for him). Sometimes just holding the Y button will kill and then respawn you back with the other player though. 

 

Anyway, the idea of this thread wasn't to bash the game... It's only because I like it so much that I am here looking to discuss it and look at ways it could maybe be tweaked. If I disliked it, I simply wouldn't bother.

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. . .

 

Also, the left analogue stick deadzone is very tight. I sent a support ticket regarding this, but in short, some Xbox 360 controllers don't always revert to the absolute center and can sometimes get stuck in a *slightly* upward/downward/left/right angle. This is the case of both of my Xbox 360 controllers. Usually, this is not a problem, but for games like BBT that have a very small deadzone it can lead to some annoying consequences. For example, if I duck and release the stick, my character does not stop ducking until I push it in any other direction and if I move the selector down one step in a menu or the level editor, the selector does not respond to additional "down taps" until I tilt the stick in a different direction (see this thread on a separate game for more info - it's the very same problem I am having (and sadly, after doing some googling this controller issue doesn't seem to be *that* rare)).

So my question is - is there any chance the deadzone could be relaxed just a liiiittleeee with future title updates?

 

This is really a problem with the Xbox system itself.  It doesn't calibrate joystick center at boot time, like most consoles in my experience do.  The fallout is that as your joysticks age, they drift, and you get the kinds of problems you describe.  My old 360 controller is now hooked up to the PC because of this.  There, center position can be calibrated, so the pad remains useful.  On the Xbox, it's too far off center now to be viable.

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. . .

 

Also, the left analogue stick deadzone is very tight. I sent a support ticket regarding this, but in short, some Xbox 360 controllers don't always revert to the absolute center and can sometimes get stuck in a *slightly* upward/downward/left/right angle. This is the case of both of my Xbox 360 controllers. Usually, this is not a problem, but for games like BBT that have a very small deadzone it can lead to some annoying consequences. For example, if I duck and release the stick, my character does not stop ducking until I push it in any other direction and if I move the selector down one step in a menu or the level editor, the selector does not respond to additional "down taps" until I tilt the stick in a different direction (see this thread on a separate game for more info - it's the very same problem I am having (and sadly, after doing some googling this controller issue doesn't seem to be *that* rare)).

So my question is - is there any chance the deadzone could be relaxed just a liiiittleeee with future title updates?

 

This is really a problem with the Xbox system itself.  It doesn't calibrate joystick center at boot time, like most consoles in my experience do.  The fallout is that as your joysticks age, they drift, and you get the kinds of problems you describe.  My old 360 controller is now hooked up to the PC because of this.  There, center position can be calibrated, so the pad remains useful.  On the Xbox, it's too far off center now to be viable.

Yeah, it's definitely a problem on Microsoft's half - but since BBT doesn't seem to take advantage of the analogue sticks with "analogue movement" (you either move or you don't; there's no inbetween) I think the deadzone could be made just a little looser without impacting gameplay for anyone.

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