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Iaman

Steed Official Feedback Thread

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I think what I missed the most from the original pitch that got my vote was the idea of "Crazy Taxi as a horse." Delivering standard heroic fantasy heroes to their quests, despite their bumbling idiocy. Bucking a knight off your back to toss him into enemies, bucking to make an archer fire arrows, running missions and trying to keep the guy on your back on task... that really appealed to me. When all of that was chucked in favor of having the kid and no clear quest beyond "Get a book? Don't die?" it was a bit disappointing.

That sounds amazing. What a missed opportunity.

It'd be like if Lee made Headlander, but spent the whole prototype "polishing the shooter mechanics." The headlanding part will be in the full game, but for the prototype, the core is the FPS part...

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Is there any way to change the refresh rate? I've got a decent computer, but my monitor has a maximum refresh rate of 75 hertz. If not, is there any other way to get around this issue?

Not sure if this will work, but here is the command line argument for vsync:

Steed.exe -syncframerate

You can either find the exe in a command prompt, or create a shortcut and add the argument there (I think that works?)

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Wow, what an amazing prototype... I always knew it would look great, but I didn't expect it to also be so much fun! Despite how limited the range of attacks is, I couldn't help but keep playing long after the story ended. I think the best part of the combat is how I can fight so many enemies at the same time -- first a stomp on two greks in front of me, then a kick to one at the back and to finish it off a magic bolt at the one trying to run away... Man, I wish I could play a full version right now!

There was one thing that bothered me, however: the camera angle when galloping is really low, it almost made me feel nauseous.

Great job guys, I'm glad I voted for this one.

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First of all, I had fun playing the prototype. Nonetheless, this wasn't really what I've been expecting.

To be completely honest, from the pitch I voted on ("storybook landscape"), I wouldn't have guessed that this is going to be in 3D, but that's not really a complaint, as it has been done rather well - more of a surprise. What I missed more, however, was the so-called "charming Double Fine take on a classic partnership". It's not that it was completely absent, but most of the gameplay was spent playing a 3D brawler. A well-made 3D brawler with very nice and realistic horse animations - but is that really the core of Steed's concept? I feel that during the limited time given to them in AF, the creators got lost in certain details and forgot to actually showcase that which makes Steed such a great game idea.

Still, have to give credit where credit is due, what's actually been done has been done quite well, and made for pretty fun experience. It in fact says something about the game's potential that Steed could be so much more than this. :)

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I liked the short time I spent with the prototype a lot. I really dig how you were able to create a nice short slice of gameplay which summed up what the game could look and feel like.

Stuff I felt was a bit missing:

- jumping

- a key used for galloping a'la Assassin's Creed

- the back kick was a bit clunky, it has to do with the camera which makes you move around in a weird way in order to line up an enemy. It's a design decision whether it should stay that way (and then the back kick is a support weapon of sorts) or if some way of making the attack easier to perform should be devised.

- some minimal interaction with the environment could have been cool, like kicking down a scarecrow, or kicking a bucket to send it flying etc., but that would only make sense if you actually made use of it in some sort of puzzle or minigame. Obviously the focus for the prototype was on the core gameplay and that worked out fine!

I really had fun with this and would totally be interested in seeing a project like this developed. Obviously open-world-like games are tough to do with a small team, so you'd have to figure out if that's what you wanted to do, or if you'd rather focus on a more linear experience (though I totally see why doing a lot of sidequests with different character classes could be cool in a more open environment!).

All in all, I'm happy with this one. I see it as an ideal summary of the idea behind the game - just the right length and complexity to communicate what kind of game this would be at a basic level. Good job, two thumbs up!

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I'm also pretty impressed by what you have achieved in two weeks regarding the look and feel of the horse. The environment also looks gorgeous for a two week prototype. After seeing the documentary videos I was expecting the combat to feel clunky, but it actually worked out pretty well.

A lot has already been said about improvements to combat and movement, most of which I agree with, but I think that if a full length version of this game would be considered, the narrative design choices would also require some more scrutiny. Having the design goal of "the player being the horse, not riding one" in mind, I wasn't really sure about the storybook setup, for instance. While this is obviously a third-person game, the framing of the various acts as chapters in a storybook strongly emphasised that I was just controlling Bella to progress a narrative. I did like how the storybook context helped me to make sense of some of the things happening (such as the waterwheel craziness), but it also seemed to create some more distance between me and what I was doing.

On that same note, I would definitely consider giving Bella a voice in an expanded version of this prototype. The fact that Twig was able to speak, while Bella only gave responses in subtitles, made my attention shift to the rider. Maybe it would be cool if you could respond yourself to questions by jolting in different ways, for instance. In general I think this game concept could learn a lot from "Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons". The way in which that game communicated parts of the story and emotions through controller actions is something that would really be applicable to Steed, I think.

I think the only word I can use to descrive Steed is cute.

That was my feeling as well. I would definitely hope that at least the story of a full length version of this game would go beyond "cute" and explore some more adult themes as well. Otherwise it would end up being more of a children's game, which would be okay, but probably not something that I would play :-)

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Loved Steed. When watching the videos I was finding the horse animations lacking but they realy did come togehter at the end, flows nicely, really impressive for such a short period of time. Huge Congratulations to the animators. The horse itself is also very charming, he is a charismatic horse. Movement felt good and combat has some learning curve, it's really unique to have to give your back to your enemy to hit him. I guess that's why the spellbook was added.

The game is beatiful too. Such a shame that we can't explore the world further. I was hoping to see some more "Game", like having one or two missions and more than that extremely thin hint of a narrative.

All in all, this game just HAVE to become a full game, more than any other in this AF, IMO. Sure, all of them deserve it, but Steed is my primary pitch for a full-lenght game. And I remember Tim being instantly sold on this game, right at the first pitch. Make it happen Tim.

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Well, it's as it was said near the beginning; given the timeframe and this idea, you could choose to make an aesthetically-pleasing game or a mechanically-innovative one. The prototype clearly showcases the former. By "aesthetically-pleasing" I don't just mean "looks good," either (although there's certainly no shortage of that); more, I mean all the small subtleties involved with putting your player's identity in the horse character rather than the hero atop her, explicitly one of the team's intentions since day one.

All admiration of the polish aside, the part that actually sparked my (jaded?) sensibilities was the half-second after dropping Twig off at the library. Just for a moment, there was this beautiful sense of "Now the game begins, ha-ha!" and in the full game this would translate to me immediately running off and taking another job. Which, of course, did not exist in the prototype. Too bad, so sad, it's a two-week thing, but I guess I'm just trying to say that, had this been a full-treatment game, I would have been very jazzed.

I know absolutely everyone says this about their individual favorite projects, but here's hoping we get to see a completed version of this so it can more closely emulate its original intent in the mechanical sense. Even after two weeks, you're already darn close to the aesthetic intent. Kudos to all of you for some fine work.

(And I just realized the significance of the checkered saddle-blanket. Doh.)

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I had a great time playing Steed. It was as good as I imagined it would and better.

I feel the same as a few others about little things like kicking the trees to make more apples fall, the front attack was hard to hit sometimes (especially when the Grex were running away (I would run past them and get 'em with a hind kick instead!))

Edit: And also a charge attack would be really good.

I managed to find all the easter eggs mentioned by others except the Mnemonic one. So off I go to look for it :)

...Just as an added thought, I wonder if there is a way Belle could use Twigs magic and combine with an attack of hers? (like a powerful charge or something)

Here's a lovely view I got from outside the boundaries and looking over the land.

SteedScreen.jpg

SteedScreen.jpg.e814d8094686059c2f8e0f99

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BTW John, Belle has oficially the climbing tree ability. It is now a permanent character trait :D

THe most fun thing to do in the game is climb the trees with the horse. Don't even think about cutting that out in the full game.

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Yeah, Bella has a definite tree climbing ability, climbing from more than a meter away and soaring through the foliage...

2014-03-08_00034.jpg

2014-03-08_00145.jpg

2014-03-08_00034.jpg.c2f0205e53cbb53b609

2014-03-08_00145.jpg.c583e4ef83d964d0e22

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Saving the best for last, I just finished playing the Steed prototype. It was pretty great, as I knew it would be from watching the streams (though in some ways, this was the least surprising prototype since it was the only one that was fully played through on the stream).

Some comments: combat was solid; positioning Bellefire to hit Grecks is tough, but it is very satisfying when they do get hit. The "bucking bronco" style of attacking was more useful than I thought it would be and I was pleased that I was able to make good use of both the front and rear attacks (and the ranged attack when it became available). I did find the keyboard controls a little tricky and in particular I was a bit confused by the influence the camera had on movement, but I almost never play 3D games due to motion sickness issues (which are admittedly a bit of a problem with this game) so I'm not used to some of the control conventions that may exist.

Things the game did well: the feeling of playing as the horse, animation and environment art, the boy's voice acting, special horse effects, everything about the waterwheel, solid proof-of-concept combat.

Things I'd like to see if there were a full version of the game: more focus on story, exploration, and humor; the re-introduction of multiple riders; the ability to throw your rider (of all the things that were discussed on the pitch but abandoned, this might be the one I miss the most).

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Question to DFers (John in particular), since I love the water wheel set piece: Do you have any other ideas for set pieces that you'd like to share?

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I was really quite amazed with this one, i won't lie. I wasn't really all that hyped for this one compared to others, but holy crap was it a slap in the face when i booted it up. I was completely taken back by just how AMAZING it looks. I know there wasn't much to this prototype "story" wise but just running around as a horse was enough for me, the graphics and art and everything was so surprising! it looks SO dang good dag nab it!

I took more of a shining to this then i thought i would and i'm super impressed with it, along with everyone else i'm sure. This is a wonderful prototype the whole team should be so proud. :')

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Of the four that prototypes that were made, this was the one highest on my wish list. I really wanted to see this game made, and am glad I got the chance to play a prototype! Thanks for all your hard work!

Here is my initial input:

* I need a newer computer. My graphics card couldn't handle this game (or really any of the prototypes) to the degree it deserved.

* The horse is definitely the focus of this game. I enjoyed the way she was animated and drawn - super cute horse!

* The "do something horse-like" options were cool. I'm glad there were several different options in there.

* Combat on my laggy machine was difficult with many enemies, but fun when there were only a couple around me. The lag on my machine also didn't help in positioning the kicks properly, but strangely I didn't have the same issue with the spellbook. I'd love to play this on a newer machine; I think it would really improve the combat.

* Some people have mentioned wanting to see other combat moves. For a 2-week game, I don't expect anything further, but if you do have the chance to make this a full-length game, be sure to check out the Andalusian horses. I've seen them perform, and they have some amazing combat moves.

* Twig is a great weapon/prop/accessory for this prorotype. I'd love to see him return in the full game. One of the things about the pitch that I loved the most, though, was the "many bumbling heroes" feature, and I've love to see that realized. Either with different heroes for different missions, or as a player choice (like how you can choose your class or henchmen in most existing RPG games).

Overall, though, this was fabulous! Awesome job.

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The game looked fantastic! The terrain was great, and the character design and animations were all well done too. I did have some kind of error where the trunks of trees weren't there. It was all just leaves floating in mid air.

I thought the Grex were very cute and fun to pummel. Aiming your back kick was a bit of a challenge. I usually just ended up spamming attack buttons, and occasionally connecting. Hitting them felt satisfying though!

There wasn't much direction in the game. There doesn't always need to be. But once I dropped twig off I wasn't sure if I was meant to be doing anything specific. The water wheel part was also confusing. I just rolled around for like 3-5 minutes. I wasn't sure where to go, and it took me out of the experience because it was so slow moving.

I can kind of envision the larger game. But I would be much more supportive of the original idea, helping many bumbling heroes. Rather than just 1 kid. Having that variety would really put the focus back on the horse and not on Twig.

I ate everything I could find and only farted a bit. I was looking forward to laying down a big old horse plop!

I like Andy's narrations too :)

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I have enjoyed this prototype so far. I too feel that the horse should have a voice. I'm sure you guys could pull it off in a way that works well.

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I played Steed with my 4 year old son. He said it was "the coolest game ever!" and he also said,"when are they going to come out with more levels for us to play?"

My feedback is that I really wanted to jump over something, like the fences, that would be really cool! Otherwise this was a fun prototype to play, and we'd love to see more someday!

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My feedback is that I really wanted to jump over something, like the fences, that would be really cool! Otherwise this was a fun prototype to play, and we'd love to see more someday!
This.

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This was really fun to play. I really enjoyed the environment; all the fallen logs made the forest areas more realistic, so much that it made me homesick. And the grass was awesome; I ran around and wrote a few secret messages for anyone going by in a balloon. I also really enjoyed the expressiveness of the characters in the story-book scenes. A few critiques: I felt it was difficult to line up a back kick since Bella does not walk backwards. Bella needs to be able to jump and climb. I was also hoping side-kicking, biting, and tail-swats would be possible, but hopefully they will be in the full game. Other than that, it was great! I don't normally like fighting games, but I enjoyed this.

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Thanks for the steedback... er, feedback everyone!

The two most common pieces of feedback are a desire to have multiple inpet non-boy riders and a true jump - both things wouldn't fit into the scope of the prototype without cutting out a huge chunk of other stuff, but both would definitely be included a full Steed game!

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Awesome job! John and everyone on the team you should be so proud of what you put out in 2 weeks!

I really enjoyed this game. I echo lots of the other commenters that the grass and scope of the world was awesome, the horsiness was just perfect. I loved the extras/easter eggs (I found all but the Mnemonic heart too...particularly loved how you had one dead pink best bud. I honored your work by hitting E and eating him). Loved the horse effects, and loved the poo. Forgot all about it so when it happened it was a funny surprise.

I thought Twig's voice over was great...laughed every time he said "Oh my nads!"

Also would like to see jumping, other npcs who ride the horse, other quests, etc. But overall, fantastic and fun. Very much enjoyed it!

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Today I finally found some time to write some feedback on the prototypes. I will also add responses to the other corresponding threads. It was really interesting to see the games come together and it is really impressing what you did in two weeks. Also sorry if some of the things I write already were mentioned. I did not have time yet to read the rest of the feedback.

Steed was the only game I voted for that got made and I think it really turned out quite good and I would certainly buy a full game. You really created a beautiful world and the horse animations look really good. It was a lot of fun only running around exploring and kicking the enemies. The story so far was ok for a prototype and doing the cutscenes as paintings really seemed to fit the game. The controls took some time to get used to, but felt ok. Positioning the horse for a good attack was a bit difficult though (it is probably easier with a gamepad). For a possible full game I really hope you implement the other heroes and throwing a hero to the enemies as you showed in the pitch.

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Steed was a fantastic prototype! Really showcased the potential and mechanics for the game! Like all the other prototypes- it amazes me to see how much you guys can put in, in just two weeks, and with such small teams! Where I work, two weeks is the amount of time it takes to schedule one meeting!

Congratulations again to Team Steed!

Here are some suggestions for elements that could go into a full game (I'm already making the assumption that Steed is going to get the greenlight! ;-)):

1. Have opening gameplay shot be of Bellfire's face rather than from the rear since this is her story.

2. There's gotta be a horse racetrack in the game! Also steeples that you can jump over!

3. At one point Twig should acquire a lance. Bell could then drive through enemies, plowing through them easily like bowling pins!

4. A left and right side kick. Real horses can do it!

5. Story suggestion: Perhaps have an intro sequence showing how Bell and Twig met, or why they are so close.

Another cooler option IMO: opening story should show Bellfire losing her sworn rider whom she loved and trusted. Perhaps her original rider was a knight that is killed in battle? In the escape, Bell saves Twig (maybe he's either a paige or just a stableboy). Twig should seem pretty inept at first, and Bell should show a little bit of resentment towards him after losing her original rider. But the true theme of the story is that Bell learns throughout the game that Twig has a good heart and worthy to be her rider despite not being a knight.

Last note: loved the water wheel part! After that part is over, is that the end of the prototype? I did find some of the Easter eggs afterwards, but just wanted to make sure.

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Ok, on the plus side, i think the art style is great and the animations are amazing. I also like the sound a lot, it's fantastic.

I didn't like two things, basically. One is the camera. I think it's way too close. I like how it zooms out when you perform an attack, but it's definetely too close when you explore. While exploring, you want to see as much environment as possible. The camera narrows the view too much.

My strongest complaint, however, is in the controls. The running is pretty smooth, but the fighting is not. I found it really difficult and clunky to point to an enemy to hit it. When kicking, the horse keep steering left or right a bit so it makes hitting enemies annoying. Also, the 1-2 combo never really works unless you are completely crowded; otherwise, most of the times you just hit one guy and then thin air.

The AI of the enemies is annoying, because they keep running away from you ruining the fun of the combat because you basically have to chase them and blast them with magic all the time, but it's ok since it's a prototype, and you can't really expect making a perfectly functional AI in two weeks, it's impossible, i guess.

I'd like to be brutally honest and tell that of all the prototypes this is the one i probably won't buy if it becomes a full game, because it looks very cool art-wise and story-wise but plays just like any other 3D action game, and there's dozens of those already. But that's just my personal taste and i think that overall you achieved some very good results, especially with the animations, considering the two weeks time limit. Hope i didn't sound too harsh. Please, take it as constructive criticism.

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