Will you be updating the itch.io version now that Neon Tail is on Steam? And has a GOG version been considered?
A downloadable game
Neon Tail is an open world roller skating game where you follow a young girl’s adventures and save the streets of Bluepulse City from dimensional disaster.
She will meet many colorful characters and explore many fantastic locations of the city, from its various districts (shopping, business, residential etc) to its subways and sewers, to the unknown planes of existence.
The game is inspired by the urban dynamism of Jet Set Radio, the character development, narration, and emotional connections from Life is Strange, and the open world freedom from new gen Batmans.
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Will you be updating the itch.io version now that Neon Tail is on Steam? And has a GOG version been considered?
I am here to post a review.
I am a very picky player. I'll be honest, out of the hundreds of games I have, I still play like 5. This game is very chill and relaxing, a perfect way to spend couple hours winding down after being tilted. The movement while being the main component to the game and is really fun, I feel like it could be improved upon. Mostly, the jumping. At times I feel like the jumping is way too high and too inaccurate. I have no idea what it takes to create a video game, but I can tell whomever is reading this, the creators took time into this and 100% is a game to watch out for. With a little tweaking on movement in my opinion, I feel like this game could easily compete against some Triple A games.
I'm here to post a review, and a few other things.
I know it is only Early Access right now, but so far this game is pretty epic. If you are a fan of Jet Set Radio, this game is definitely a must get. It's got skating, colorful and cool locations/characters, and a really good song that constantly loops (I'm pretty sure more songs will come...). The controls are a bit weird and slippery which took me some time getting used to, and the camera is not automatic, but you have to adjust it every time you turn, but don't let that steer you away from the game. Once you get used to the controls doing tricks gets very satisfying, especially when you get a 6 trick combo. The world, even though its not finished, is really big and fun to explore. I've spent most of the time just skating around and exploring instead of trying to figure out what I am supposed to do next. As I mentioned earlier there is only one song that loops in the background and it is actually pretty epic for the first 10-20 minutes, then it gets annoying. I have a solution to that until more music is added, mute the song and listen to your own music (I recommend listening to jetsetradio.live since this game is inspired by Jet Set Radio, it only seems fitting). Other than the few annoying things (1 song, controls, and camera) this game is actually quite fun and I can't wait for more to come in the future, and to experience the finished product!
As a rollerblader who actually does tricks and grinds I have a few additional things that bother me (just because) feel free to ignore this part or read and feel either smarter with this new knowledge, or nothing new because I'm some random dude on the internet. First off, I have issues with the names of the tricks, such as the manual, riding backwards, and "reverse" spins. Starting with the manual, I noticed that there are two different types of manuals in the game. When doing a manual forward it is on the heel and one footed so that's what is called a heel roll. When going backwards (fakie, as it is actually called) its a manual on the toe, which is called a toe roll. These are manuals, but when most bladers think manual, they think of both feet rolling on either both back wheels, both on the front wheels, or one on the front wheel and one on the back wheel. I noticed while playing this, that some tricks were "reverse". I have no clue what that meant. Either it was referring to rewind spins which is when you spin off the obstacle the opposite way you spun onto it, or switch which is spinning your non-dominant way. Those few things with naming. I saw some images of blades in the game with brakes and I was like heck no, brakes make tricks more dangerous and they feel so weird and unsafe ironically lol. That and I don't see any hblock (the gap put between wheels on aggressive skates for grinds) or any gap in general between wheels making me bothered about why isn't there any wheel bite? I know its a video game and it doesn't really matter but as a blader, it really makes me anxious. I know everything I mentioned in this paragraph doesn't really matter and probably only I am bothered by this, but I am a blader and I feel the need to put it out there.
That being said I am going to make a few suggestions which I believe would be a great addition to the game: First off, the controls. I get that they are how they are for a reason, but at least let there be a way to stop quickly, like a power slide. Please, it will make things a lot easier and faster instead of struggling to stop by changing direction endlessly. Also please let there be some sort of follow cam, kind of like in JSR, where you can adjust it when you want but for the most part its behind you. Also there should be some sort of hint thing, somewhere you can go to when you have no clue as to what you are supposed to do, kind of like the bath house lady in Shantae 4, just a small hint on what you should do or check out. I am stuck right now (I just got my SFS license) and I have no clue whether there is nothing to do cause it is still early access or because I am just stupid. Also can there be a way to toggle flash when using the drone to take screenshots? It is a cool feature but the pics I take always end up terribly because the flash makes everything so bright in an already bright environment. Also please, please add more songs! The one gets annoying quickly.
Other than that I don't have much else to say besides check out the game, I highly recommend it, and don't let the camera and controls discourage and drive you away from the game. I can't wait to see what the future has in store for this awesome game!
I played the game and it looks really good so far!
Love the art style, the colours and overall design. The music also suits the game well! I think the game has a lot of potential. I'll be following this project.
Gameplay itself, however.. I could not enjoy it. At all.
Maybe I missed something or it is just me, but I could barely control the character whilst moving. With the back slide boost, she'd go too fast and too far, I wish there was a brake option. This often made the camera getting 'stuck' behind the character and I had no idea where I was or what was going on.
I like the grinding part, looks really cool, but again, hard to control. Like the range for it to connect on the rails feels to small. She also often jumped too high or far to get on them and then ended up somewhere completely different.
Now at the arena (after getting the badges), the LMB + RMB did not seem to work, or it activated when not intended. Also the X button to break the ESpheres did nothing for me.
Lastly, I found out that once you enter the tutorial or the VR challenges and decided to leave them, the game reset itself. I had to talk to everyone again, get the quests activated etc.
So my conclusion: cool game, has potential and would make for a fun game to play imo. But at the current state, it feels unplayable, which is unfortunate. The controls really need a lot op optimizing.. I'll still be following the project, however, and come back to it when it's improved!
Thank you!! We've got your feedback, now the tutorial build is available, please give it a try :D
My Full Thoughts:
A summary of my thoughts:
I have to say, just watching the screenshots and demo videos was more than enough for me to get engrossed. I absolutely loved the demo. This music is really great, and I hope we get a full soundtrack release when the game is completed.
The aesthetic choices you all made was really great, I enjoyed just racing up and down the bazaar/marketplace with the music blaring in my ears, it really felt like a slice of a much larger world!
There was some performance issues on my end , but I'm sure that will get sorted out as well. The pseudo-tank controls take a bit of geting used to, but with some practice I think it shouldn't be a problem for most.
This was a great game and I am looking forward to playing this on full release.
Also I enjoyed this game a lot and I spoke more about the level and world design and some additional thoughts of what it reminds me of as well.
Good job, and thanks for your video! A lot has been done since then, and a lot more will be done until release. The game is about 25% done.
The game has been optimized a lot, although the city above is quite a huge one.
Have my sub, and good luck with your channel. ;)
I love this so far!
I am IN LOVE with the ideas and the aesthetics of this game but I just can't enjoy it very much in it's current state. The controls are too difficult for me and I feel like the grinding especially does not lock on in a large enough radius for practical game play. I really hope these things are improved because I would be so so so so keen on playing this game in its entirely if the movement controls are improved. Thank you for making it and providing a free demo regardless! <3
The jet set radio future influence in this is really awesome. it was a superb game back then and we need recent games with that style. nice work
The world and its characters that you have created are so interesting and fun! I really like the music as well in the game :D
I don't know if you've heard of Game Development World Championship before (gdwc2019) but it's a competition for indie game developers where they can submit their games and it's free! It's great if you want some more visibility for the game and it only takes a couple of minutes to join :)
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll take a look and maybe give it a try! ;)
is there maybe a chance you'll port this over to mac.
i really like this game but my pc can't handle and i use my mom's imac, so if you ever port it i would be forever grateful if not this game is still amazing and good job on it
Sorry I don't have a mac to port a mac version. Maybe if I get enough money I'll port it. ;)
Just completed the demo. It's pretty great, although my xbox one controller wasn't beeing detected for somewhat reason so I had to play using the mouse and keyboard. I dunno why but I started for feel queezy, might be because I'm using the mouse to move the camera and it's not in flow enough with the gameplay (I'm moving it too much I think). I love the style, sound, music, and gameplay. It feels simple enough to pick up and play but hard enough so when you do master it, it'll feel worth it rather than "oh i've mastered this game in 5 minutes". Looking forward to more from this. Hopefully my controller will work next time, and maybe even a console release would be cool if possible.
Oh? I'll try to debug that xbox one problem before release. Thank you for your kind words by the way! And yeah I'll try to get the project on consoles if I can! :D
This is a pretty neat demo/prototype! The momentum based controls are something to get used to, but they're not bad! It does have a very Jet Set Radio vibe to it. I did make a video about it!
Thanks! That makes my day! :D
will the full release be free ?
Definitely one of the best itch.io prototypes I've played in a LONG time! Absolutely stoked to have a new promising skating game on PC :)
First off, this game looks amazing! Great job on the presentation and level design.
There is a reason that games rarely innovate on controls. Trying to reinvent what a lot of pro developers have refined over decades of games is only going to limit your audience. The players who want to pay for this are the same players who like other skating games. Player expectation is very important if you want to be succesful. If a lot of players are immediately turned off by your controlls, you are doing something wrong. Players are not going to say: "Wow, this game controlls really weird. Let me go find a video where the developer explains his philosophy about these controls... Now that I understand his vision, its all good." The more likely outcome is players will think it feels bad, play for a few min, then leave a negative review.
This is the same for any genre. The reason that 99% of every racing game, every FPS, every MMO, every fighting game, every 3D platformer all controls the same is based on player comfort and expectation. It is impossible for players to be immersed in a world where they are not comfortable with basic movement.
I think you have a lot of great ideas here and a potential hit on your hands. I hope it doesnt get overlooked by your desire to reinvent the wheel.
Thanks for your insight. I agree with what you say, and I don't intend for any player to watch my devlog before playing my game. I still have a long way to go and I intend to polish the game for the player to have a very pleasant experience, even with new control to learn.
I know in general that controls have been refined to a point each genre has its own standardized control mapping.
On the other hand, roller skating as a genre in the video game history, wasn't refined at all. Only 5 video games can be called roller skating games, without going to obscure flash games played by 10 people. And among those 5 games, 2 of them are good enough to remember, but they are also the same IP : Jet Set Radio 1 and 2. So we can't really talk about generations of AAA developers refining the controls. Especially when you know JSR was underestimated by Sega and had no budget and tiny team.
I think my control mapping is an improvement, or a refinement to stay aligned with our discussion, but it needs both more polish and a little time to get used to as any new thing.
I don't think it's that bad of a brand new control mapping, it's just a hybrid between a car game and JSR, so it's not completely alien, and I believe this can bring something fresh and cool.
But I agree that as it is now, the game will get negative review and I'll even think it deserve it. I'll need to work on everything a lot more to get where I want, and those reviews are helpful to get me there.
I agree that specifically roller skating games are few and far between, but skating (skateboards) are similar enough to utilize the same general controls. Its the difference between a motorcycle racing game and a car racing game. They still control the same way.
I have been making games for a long time and I have seen multiple good games get no traction because of "unique" controls. I really dont want to see that happen to you. BTW, I dont think there is anything wrong with having unique mechanics that have non-standard controls. Its simply the primary control method of moving around should be what people have come to expect. If you are Nintendo or a very well known developer, you can get away with doing something really different. With the game industry as flooded with content as it is now, players have about 3 min of attention to be immersed into your world before they move on to any of the other 10,000 games that came out this year.
Can you think of successful indie games that heavily innovated on basic controls?
Hum I get your point of view, but even so I don't think I went that far into "something really different" nor "heavily innovating", I'm just mixing 2 genres... and oh yes I can think of a dozen indie games using crazier controls than what I plan... and ended up being awesome : Papers please, Getting Over It with Bennet Foddy, Road of the Dead, QWOP, Octodad, Surgeon Simulator, Snake Pass, Grow Home, Enviro Bear 2000, FTL, Crypt of the Necrodancer, Darkest Dungeon, Captain Forever Remix, Olli olli, Hammerfight, Insatia.
Those titles have more or less heavily innovative control, but I think they all go equally or further than I do.
I'm basically just mixing classic driving games and classic third person game's control mapping.
Alright, let's suppose I make Neon Tail controls exactly like JSR, first I lose quite a lot of new features, and new game designs, as well as all my tricks and combo system. Then I also lose all the hooks / features that goes with it, that I can use to present or promote the project with (The classic question from bosses / investors being "What differentiate your games from XXX?")
Right now, I already get comments saying I ripped off JSR, I got no creativity, etc... not that I really mind, it's the internet, but killing what's different in fear of adaptability is not an absolute win win situation. I would say it has its risks, but making a clone has its own too.
1 (big I concede) plus, many (risky I concede, but oh so much more interesting for both the players and the devs) minus, all not absolute in theire positive or negative feedback as for the same feature, some will love it or get intrigued or interested, others will hate it, get bored, already seen, or too much effort to get in.
I'm thankful for your efforts to convince me otherwise out of a very supportive thought, but... I'm not really convinced rolling this back is the way... I'm more into polishing this until it's brought smoothly and gets intuitive to take in hand through game design. At most, our discussion might make me look for a way to go in between... I'll think about it. :o
Super fun and awesome game! Can't wait to see what the future holds for it! Made a video, hope you enjoy!
Super cool! Are you working with a publisher? I work for Sedoc, an indie publisher, and we'd like to work with you if you're interested. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to talk.
Look I love the idea and im sure you've heard the whole controls and camera and whatever else thing a 1000 times YOU GET IT by now so Im gonna skip over that and say that I really am lovin the idea and heres the proof
hahaha thanks for the video man, awesome Gum thicc edition thumbnail! :3
I know about the controls gotta make it better, I'm on it, but I made a video to explain what's in my mind :
The physics are probably some of the least functional I've seen in a game like this. So many operations (grinding and jumping direction) are based on momentum rather than input, but the momentum is so slippery and difficult to control that I find myself doing things I don't want to be doing. It feels more like I'm just slightly influencing the movement, say, a ball bearing, rather than controlling an actual character.
The camera feels a little sluggish, but it's honestly not a huge deal. I just wish it was snappier, and not overly smoothed like it seems to be right now.
Aside from my gripes above, I like the art direction and overall style of the game. It's a very pretty visual style. This game seems like it has potential, but the control issues are giving it a hard time.
Thanks for the feedback. Yeah what you describe about the physics is pretty much what I want, inputs influence physics instead of directly the character, kind of like Monkey ball in a lesser degree. However you dislike it while I like it...
About the camera, since I prefer this kind of smoothing I suppose everybody will have different opinion, so I'll just add an option to increase or decrease smoothness in the options later.
I might be copy pasting this a bit, but since I went through the trouble of making it to answer people about the controls, please take a look at this video. We might not agree and it's totally fine, but I won't ignore your opinions neither, knowing you feel this way helps, so thank you. ;)
Cool game, but unfortunately, the camera makes it completely unplayable. It's mainly just focused to stare at the ground so I can't see where I'm going, and trying to control it just leads to insanity with the way it moves.
Also, is there some special context to boost? 90% of the time I hit B I jump instead of boost.
Loved it! It was a little difficult to control at times, but I see lots of potential for it. Great work :D
Looks and feels very cool! Great job so far. Movement feels nice and fluid.
However, a few bugs I ran into:
1. In the license test after getting the badges, whenever I grinded on the ground-floor signboard by the goal, I was glitch-teleported to the level spawnpoint (outside the current test zone) meaning I had to wait for the timer to reach zero as I couldnt get back in.
2. (May or may not be related to first issue) During the license test, sometimes the ability to grind seemed to turn completely off, as no matter what I did, I couldn't grind on anything after failing the first try of the test.
Will test out more again soon. Again, great job so far :)
Thanks for playing and giving feedback!
We fixed the bugs you found and yes the second bug happens once the first bug happened. Good catch! ;)
Good quality so far.
Graphics look nice and colorful, even on low-end systems it runs fairly smooth at 50+fps, tho textboxes get cut off on resolutions below 720p.
My current issues are the controls, camera and rail hitboxes.
To me, it is kind of an awful scheme right now. Holding down the RT seems fine at first, but your finger eventually going to hurt after a while. I would prefer to accelerate with the left stick going into the direction i want to go. Would feel more fluid to me at least. Backward skating also really adds nothing to the movement itself, its rather confusing for me to make quick turns and then ending up skating backwards, just to realign myself. Turning to backwards skating might be better using a simple button like Y on the x360 pad.
Kinda goes hand in hand with the controls. I find myself adjusting the camera every couple of seconds, because it moves around, while going into one direction. A fixed camera behind the character would do the job much better, with the option of the right stick to look around. Also resetting the camera with LB / RB would be better, so i could jump while resetting the camera.
Rail hitboxes for the lightning trails seem kind of small at this point, while normal rails seem okay to me.
So far i'm still impressed tho, good work so far and i'm looking forward for updates. :)
Also the song in the demo is pretty cool !
Thanks for your feedback, I won't be working the controls and camera toward what you suggested for many reasons, but I do have many plans for everything overall. Without going into details, the game will have both triggers often pushed and released, much work has to be done for the game design to be set toward this goal, but I'm on it. Hopefully it will work out in the end, I do believe in the potential of my plans, and I don't really want to create a THPS or JSR clone.
I will increase the glowing rail's hitbox as you suggested. Thanks again! :)
Graphics are looks cool!
Beautiful graphics, looks a lot like sunset overdrive!
I like it. Very beautiful graphics.
Looks great, but it's 3:39 AM and I should really sleep; might play it tomorrow.
Mkay, I've had some sleep. It's time to download this and hope my graphics card can handle it. XD
The second wall in the jumping tutorial is too tall to jump through. It looks like I'm supposed to jump onto a crate first, but that doesn't work either.
Sorry I should add a message saying the longer you press the higher you go, taking a little momentum helps too. Will add that on the next update.
This game seems really cool! im not usually into skating games and alike, but this was actually pretty interesting! the gameplay itself is nice, great game! ill make sure to follow it on updates! when thats said i did have some quirks with the game, mostly:
1. Its just hard to land on gliding areas, especially at high speed
2. the control scheme is for x-box it think? well i dont know what buttons to press on my keyboard
3. it can be hard to find paths, like in your trailer, where you go ontop of the roofs in the first area, id never figured that out myself
Thanks for the kind words! Your quirks have been noted, I'll see what I can do to improve those points, thanks for the feedbacks!
Great idea, but the controls still need some work. It feels very floaty.
This game was pretty awesome to play. It does need a lot of work though but it has so much potential to be a Jet Set Radio spiritual successor.
1. The grinding in the game needs to potentially have bigger collisions because trying to grind on some of the rails were hard to do due to how slim the collision boxes are.
2. The controls need to be refined a bit more especially on keyboard and mouse. I tryed on keyboard and mouse at first and it just wouldn't let me get past the language select so I just ended up using a controller which was fine. After a few minutes I got used to the controls in the game.
3. There needs to be more control over the character. Two examples of this is braking and in air control. Braking the character was very hard to do if you has a lot of momemtum which then you would just end up in a wall trying to get out. I did figure out that you could turn the stick 90 degrees to make the character break but it felt clunky. Next was in air control. The player had very limited in air control over the character which made it hard to know exactly where you wanted the character to go. There needs to be a bit of in air control for the player so that they have an easier time of comboing those grinds together but not so much that the player can turn and easily control the character in the air. Just a small adjustment can make all of the difference.
4. Not a big deal but the NPC character models need to be fleshed out more. I know that they will probably be fleshed out in upcoming updates to the game but they are mostly just basic.
5. I don't mention this in my video because I didn't know about it till after I recorded and had a play around more with the game but the pause menu didn't work for me when I tried to select the options in the menu. It would allow me to change tabs but when I pressed A to select it would just make the character jump and back out of the menu. Also, then the character is facing the camera, the menu appears behind the character which makes impossible to see the menu without turning the character around.
I go into more detail in my video but even though this is a very early access, it has a lot of potential. Maybe even the potential to be a kick starter project rather than an itch.io and patreon because it seems like you have really put thought into this game which is not typical of an itch.io game. Also, I want to see more features in the game like in the screenshots and I go into what features I feel the game could do more with. They are mostly mid development features like being able to do more tricks with the character ect but its just a thought. I hope to see a lot more of this game and I hope you don't take the criticism in a bad way because I do want you to do well in the development of this game because it has so much potential. Good luck with your journey and I hope to hear your thoughts on what I have reviewed so far. If you want anyone to test out the game and maybe have some input into the game then feel free to e-mail me. The e-mail is on my channel.
Wow thanks for playing, recording, and giving useful feedback!
1. We will tweak both the grinding collisions width and air control, we don't want this to be too easy neither but maybe right now it is adjusted to our own level, (people who plays the game everyday to work on it) making it very hard to normal new players.
2. Yes, the keyboard and mouse was a bit neglected and it is my own fault. I did not and still don't have a clear vision on how to make it feel good, but I'll keep thinking on what I can do about that.
3. Well, I did put this secret input Lt+Rt (rmb+lmb) when going faster than 15km/h. However I think braking by orienting yourself 90 degrees is the real way to go, both in style and game feel, but maybe this is more a subjective opinion than I thought. I will also increase slightly air control, as mentionned on 1. Thanks for your input there. :)
4. Yeah, we'll work on that. Tiny team, big project, no fundings, but we'll make it. :)
5. Yes you found that too. This is the unfinished Drone menu. The camera is actually a drone following you everywhere that you can customize and upgrade. The code is ready but the features aren't implemented yet. I feel a bit sorry to put so much unfinished things, but as the message on the bottom of the screen reads, everything is still work in progress. I'll fix that soon.
In any case, thank you for the help, I welcome all criticism that explains why, like the ones you give. It is very helpful. ;)
I know its still a very early demo of the game which is why I didn't go too hard in my review of the game. Most of the tweaks are just thoughts I had while playing the game and being a game developer myself and having been to college to train as a game developer, these are just a few tweaks I thought of coming from a developers and a players point of view. The game has potential but it is still a long way from the final product. Hope it all goes well in the future for you and your team.
I really enjoyed this! Remided me of my childhood playing Jet Set. Keep up the amazing work!
Yooo, I am hyped for a another skating game after growing up with Jet Set Radio! Ran through the demo on keyboard and had a blast.
The controls *were* a little weird to get used to, but after a few minutes I had the basics down and bombed up and down the course.
love the game but! needs better keyboard controls!
Haha thanks for playing and recording, here have my sub! :)
I'll see what I can do about the keyboard mouse controls. ;)
is this for 64 bit computers?
great concept. poor execution. saying xbox 360 gamepad recommended is an understatement. there is absolutely no support for anything else. no keyboard, no ps4 controller, nothing. I do not have an xbox 360 controller. it made this extremely difficult to play. impossible, actually. i could not complete the tutorial. from the little gameplay i experienced, the grinding rail width needs to be wider. maybe double or triple. as it is, it is extremely hard to hit them. also, there needs to be more in air control. the game looks nice. the music is great and would really enhance the game if you could keep your momentum up. the old guy who says "yo yo yo" is really cringe-y.
Edit: I just hopped over to the Dev's website. this game looks a lot more playable on the xbox controller, but i would add support for keyboard first, and then other controllers second. This game shows lots of promise. I really like the Dev. The introduction video looks great. im going to keep my eye on this game. maybe even support it if it seems to go in the right direction.
agreed im able to kinda work out the controls using the unity startup thing but appart from that its an amazing game just wish i could play it better ya know do it justice
Thanks for the feedback, and sorry for the bad experience, I will borrow a PS4 controller and work on it. I will also try to optimize the keyboard-mouse input. Your post is very helpful although I hope it didn't ruined your opinion on my game forever.
There's a ton of work to do on it, but I'm a hard worker, I hope you'll appreciate future updates as I improve everything.
Is there a Mac version planned?
(Prior to downloading and playing, will edit/reply with post-play thoughts) So based on the description and demo vid (especially the momentum-based movement and style/weight of the air-based movement), it would appear to be a spiritual succesor to Jet Set Radio (or better yet my faveorite game Jet Set Radio Future). Meaning, I have my hopes up!
Hope you'll have fun playing this demo, it is still all a work in progress, so we'll work hard to improve it all the way! :)
First of all, despite what others have said the demo is very playable on keyboard- you just have to set up custom controls in the launcher. I'll admit though, the movement control system is literally tenky, as in you move forwards or backwards in relation to the direction you're aiming. While I do agree that it's the most technically accurate way to mimic rollerblading (at least in theory), there's a small matter of momentum and directional movement based on the tank-style. To make sense, when rollerblading in a straight line you start off with a small boost of acceleration (your first step and the push that follows), bringing you up to at least 50% of your average speed in the first few seconds. Also, when turning your forward momentum is redirected (not cancelled out for momentum in the new direction), meaning that a turn can actually speed you up depending on the angle. I think specifically it's the turning and forward/backward control style that (while I was able to get used to) would frusterate the average player.
To fix this, I recommend that the joystick (or in my case 'wasd') control not only the direction, but also the camera and forward push, and swap the now unused forward button for a 180/90 degree character rotation, both for tricks and movement tweaking. Or just "rotate right/left on the spot" buttons.
Personally I'd recommend that the camera follow behind the player and "lock on" to within 15-20 degrees, and have a seperate button you hit to unlock it (so you can look around without moving as an option, instead of the default), and a double-tap to recenter it.
Then there's the jump, which is a very typical demo-game jump. I presume it's a placeholder until you can get a sort of tap/hold -> short hop/high jumpflip system working.
Again, very playable and I had fun, even collected 4 badges before I had to start fighting the momentum and inertia. Also, I saw a few people complain that the rails are "too thin"- I can see why they'd say this, but with the tweaks to the movement system it won't be much of an issue.
I have hope for this game, and eagerly await the next demo version!
Thank you for your feedback! I'm sorry in advance for the long answer, you don't have to read everything if this bores you. You can just go all the way down and just read the TLDR. :P
I understand the point of view about reverting all the controls to existing layout such as Jet Set Radio or Tony Hawk in order to get into a familiar way of playing. On the other hand there is 2 reasons I'm not doing that.
First, well, making the game play and feel the same way as another kind of destroy the point of making a new game with a new IP and a new gameplay that I believe is better for roller skating while needs a little time to get used to. On the other hand, I'm all for a new THPS or JSR to be made!
Now the second reason is yet to come : the overall design for this specific control mapping is not showing nor complete yet, and I am aware that one way or another, I will need to harmonize a player's positive experience, friendly learning curve, and solid understanding of the control layout, all with level design. Not an easy task.
Let me elaborate the design: the triggers are used to skate forward or backward. You usually see that kind of input mapping in driving simulations, like on cars, tanks, or boats.
Somehow I find it even more legitimate to have this in a roller skating game. You see, in driving games, 90% of the time, you'll be pressing the right trigger, braking or driving backward just happens less frequently.
In Neon Tail, going backward goes exactly as fast as going forward, you just got the direction reversed. So what's the point of going backward since it's harder to control? Well performing combos of course. So there's a high probability that new players will be pressing right trigger most of the time. But over time with the combo system, I expect players to be switching between forward and backward skating all the time, in order to perform combos.
The more combos you perform in the streets under the awestruck gazes of pedestrians, the more reputation you will gain.
The more reputation you have, the more things you can do, but this is another subject. The point is, there's an ongoing incentive to perform combos all the time.
Right now the combo system is yet to be done.
I will create a list of combos, that are fixed orders of actions, each with a different amount of reputation point gain. For example, a combo named 180 grind to grind would be performed by being grinding in the first place, jumping, turning around then landing on rails again. Each character will have their own set of combos.
Skating backward will usually be more rewarded than the forward counterpart, to balance the difficulty of having the controls inverted.
I think this system might prove good enough to keep the players performing combos as much as they can, while make use of this new control layout in a good , challenging and fun way. You can see that playing this way making use of the separated input of Lt and Rt all the time makes sense. Although the worst thing a player can do is to never release Rt, and this is where I'll need to craft good level design and tutorial.
The left stick is used to rotate the character toward a direction. Do take note that I'm separating the action of rotation and the final direction.
Whenever the player uses the left stick, a blue arrow will show the direct input of the player, putting a visual to the player's intention.
Depending on the alignment of the roller blades, the direction in which the player is moving, its speed, the character's weight and the gravity, physics will decide how the character will act while trying to go toward the direction of the player's input.
Our main character is quite light and agile so it is almost unnoticeable at first. But give her more speed, or more weight, and the difference will be felt. This physics based control makes it even more important for the player to play with both trigger's analogic input with subtlety and skills and that is where I think the fun resides in this control layout.
TLDR : I think the control mapping right now feels good but is very new. I understand people who wants a new Jet Set Radio or THPS will just want exactly that, but I'm not making a sequel of those very good games. I have plans of my own and if you give me a chance I hope it will prove to be a positive experience in the end.