Let’s Play Hanami

This video shows a complete run-through of the game, and every item collected. Details are explained with game dialogue style commentary on the way.

While the game is currently in a state where it can be played from beginning to end, it’s not necessarily a finished piece. You will notice a couple of glitches and problems, including:

at 10:33: The man who could walk through walls…
But didn’t get too far. I’m still unsure as to the cause of this problem. The character object is used in all of the first three levels, but only encounters this problem here. I’ve put plenty of measures in place to stop the problem from happening, but haven’t found the solution yet. If I can’t work it out before next week, then I will try to relocate the character and hope that this solves everything.

at 14:24: Some fairly poor level design.
The solution to this problem is to take away some of the walls and ceiling to simply provide the player with enough room to actually jump into the space, without loosing a whole lot of health along the way.

at 23:13: A positioning problem
Probably related to bad maths or bad coding. The kokeshi doll should appear in the centre of the screen like every other item when it is collected, but I may have accidentally programmed it to appear above the player. This just doesn’t look right at all, but is an easy problem to fix.

at 24:49: A score positioning problem
Again, not entirely sure about the cause of this problem. When the new game+ begins, the score shifts slightly to the left. You can hardly see it above the blossom icon, but it’s there. It slyly moves back to its proper place when the inventory is opened, it seems. Not sure how I’m going to solve this one.

Please leave comments/suggestions on anything else you notice, and I will fix everything up for a beta release.

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13 responses

  1. I’ve been seeing all of your progress on this game, and it’s so cool to witness it finally having a play through. I actually love your art style, and the sprites are a wonderfully nostalgic throw back to times of old arcade games.

    Very cool – are you planning on releasing it any time soon? – or is it a personal school project? – or will it be available to play online [ like say Kongregate ]?

    • Thanks much!

      My original plan was to release a downloadable version, but because I was meganoob at the beginning of this project I’m now having problems with re-scaling the game to account for monitor sizes. Alternatively, I think I can fairly easily change some stuff to make a fixed window size version of the game, which would probably work pretty well on a site like kongregate. I hadn’t thought of making it a browser game, so thanks!

      At the moment it’s ultimately a school project, but I’m thinking of re-making it from the beginning, and maybe even dropping the retro style…

      • I actually like the retro style though. You’d be surprised how often people [ especially slightly older players ] gravitate to that sort of thing. Young kids, sure, their highest concern is that the graphics and gameplay are superb – but for folks in their 20’s+ – if we’ve had the pleasure of witnessing vintage gameplay, then any game that harkens back to values of the NES, SNES, Atari, scrolling platformers, etc. is a welcome escape.

        The modern console and handheld market saturate the isles with 3D and HD graphics, occasionally it’s nice to find a game where you don’t feel overwhelmed by all the art and you can really just enjoy the story and gameplay, so I would honestly suggest keeping it how it is. Shoot – I’ve seen games succeed MASSIVELY with mere stick figures vs. 3D characters, and it was because their story and their gameplay won people over.

        If you would like an example check out:

        http://gastrogamer.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/game-of-the-week-i-saw-her-standing-there/

        and

        http://gastrogamer.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/game-of-the-week-closure/

        Simple graphics + gripping gameplay = fun. A browser game can be equally as fun as any console game, you just have to lure the masses off of their couch bums and bring them to a PC by providing them with a game that will evoke some sort of emotion enticing them to stay.

        Love your project though and I wish you and your project the best in the future!

      • Oh wow, how could I argue with that??

        You’ve given me a lot to think about. You’re right, the reason I love to see modern games take on retro themes is because of the values I see in the “classics”.

        I enjoyed reading your blog too! I started playing I Saw Her Standing There and now I’m annoyed at how frustratingly addictive it is. So you’ve made you’re point pretty clear.

        Thanks again!

  2. Okay. I’m going to watch the video, and everytime I notice something, I’m gonna make a note of when in tthe video ot happens, what happens, and a recomendation of how to fix it if it’s a problem.

    0:30 Starts a little quickly. Perhaps a slow fade or something would be nice.
    1:00 It would look better if the character were in the center of the ladder when climbing.
    1:08 Okay, the flower is difficult to see as an enemy. It blends into the color palette and appears as just decoration. The mushroom on the other hand stands out and makes the flower seem unimportant. Especially compared to the flower. The flower needs to pop out. Also, when you jump on the flower, a better indicator of the affect of jumping is needed. Like a particle or something.
    1:47 Going in and out of the doors is too fast. It feels lazy. Slow it down a sec and maybe add a sound.
    2:04 These enemies are placed very well. You immeadietly can tell they are a threat by their movement and the map’s shape.
    2:35In general things are hard to see, you even were hit by things here.
    6:00ish This color pallette change is nice.
    6:25 That waterfall looks like something you should walk over. You falling through it was a surprise and the visual tricked me unneccesarily. Putting rock bits on the sides will at least put the idea in someones head.
    6:50 Those boxes blend into the background, I couldn’t even see them. Color change is the only solution to that.
    11:08 The gray area behind you could use some sort of details. Light rock patterns occaisionally for instance.
    11:40 HUD is hard to read. Opacity on a box behind it perhaps?
    14:15 I thank you for your comment.
    15:20 The buildings look very nice. Color is very interesting.
    18:16 Don’t concern yourself with that comment. While how correct your game is helps, that is only a tool in your arsenal. Realisticness and originality, “depite popular belief” are considered tools by professional designers.
    22:50 That boss fight starts off kinds oddly. It doesn’t feel tense in anyway. It just kinda… happens.
    22:38 I personally would have wandered the map for 15 minutes before I realized I needed to go through that door.

    Okay, so here’s some non-time specific stuff.

    The music is really nice, it just makes the game seem so relaxing.
    You seem to have done well in your design and enemy placement in general.
    While each level has it’s own color pallete, they still don’t really stand much from each other. Each place should have an object or tile that is special.
    Some of your pixel art could use work overall, and some more colors wouldn’t hurt.
    The game runs a lot of things very quickly, like transitions and whatnot. Slowing them down just a tad would be nice.
    The building have very nice design inside. I just like it.

    So, you have a very nice game here. believe it or not, this list I’ve composed is much shorter than it would be for most people. You should have seen my Cave Story mod. I had to trash it because it was so bad. With some changes here and there and believe that this game will be the best that it can be. I wish you luck in finishing.

    How’s THAT for my second comment on this blog?

    • I love this.

      I wasn’t sure if anyone would even watch the video all the way through, let alone deconstruct it like this. Thankyou for your time!

      The visual stuff will be simplest to sort out, and there are definitely things I want to improve when I have time. I already have some ideas for graphical improvements, but you’ve brought up a lot of stuff I hadn’t even noticed. Some things I was aware of but chose to overlook as there are things I just haven’t been able to work out in Game Maker. I’m thinking about changing the engine for a sort of do-over, any suggestions? Or should I stick with what I know?

  3. Well, Scirra’s “Construct Classic” is considered a very good engine, and it programs in the same basic manner as game maker, with some added benefits. I was going to use it myself, but it was designed more for a game your size than the size of my current ambition.

    • I like the sound of added benefits. Cool, I’ll look into that soon.

      So what is it that you’re using for your current “ambition”? Sorry if I’ve just overlooked it somewhere on your blog! It’s cool that you’re using Sai, a friend introduced it to me when I got my graphics tablet, although I tend to just use it for doodles more than anything!

      • Wha? OH! My concept artist uses that. He’s more talented than I. I am currently looking for a person to program or someone to at least get me started. The game is based on Super Paper Mario, with Light physics and control over two characters. So I’m looking for someone who has at least some talent.

  4. You ever decide what you wanted to do with the remake of this game? I’d love to hear about it.

    Also my ambition just got put on hold for some artwork for FortressCraft 2d and a much smaller game idea. So I’m sad.

    • :O Don’t be sad!

      I haven’t really decided what I’m doing just yet… I’ve started to work on some new sprites which are double the size of my last ones, which are quite nice but slightly more difficult to animate. But I think the visuals could potentially be twice as good this way. This is as far as I’ve got!

      • The visuals will be twice as good if your twice the artist. In most cases they end up being a bit more cartoony and less rough. If you say Cave Story on Wii then you know.

        If you need help on a sprite let me know. I love double-resing sprites and have made a skill out of it.

      • Interesting. OK, so take a look at these: https://electromagneticproject.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/new-moves/“ I think the new character height is exactly 32px, as opposed to the previous 16 (actually I think it was something like 17 or 18!) It’s great that you can get so much more detail in this way, and I’ve tried to get things like hair movement in, but I don’t think I’ve really cracked that properly yet. I’ve added more frames to the jump animation (the second one) so that it has a take off frame and a landing frame, I’ve also started working on the ledge climb animation, although this really isn’t finished yet and might even still be missing a frame or two… I’m trying to make the transitions between sprite sequences seem more fluid, but I haven’t tried anything in engine yet so I can’t vouch for how well that’s going. I did a little test in After Effects but it looks a bit weird because obviously there are no proper physics or anything, but you can kinda see how it all strings together:



        I really love the extra character detail in the wii version of cave story, but I think they ruined some of the backgrounds. And the music. I played the demo, then decided to stick to the old version!

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