Ghoul Grind: Night of the Necromancer 2020 Demo (12/1/2020 UPDATE)

Woogz

Member
12/1/2020 UPDATE:

It's been three months since I released the last demo. I've spent a lot of time tweaking the difficulty throughout the whole game,
making sure the demo levels are fun, challenging, and not annoyingly difficult. There will still be some
challenging platforming challenges sprinkled throughout and whatnot, but this should be a smoother experience overall.

I've also created an Itch.io page for ease of access, and potential devlog purposes which can be found at the download section
below.

Ghoul Grind: Night of The Necromancer -Demo- 12/1/2020

Updated Features:


-Difficulty Tweaked to be more fair
-Mid Level Checkpoints
-Different Enemy Placements
-First Boss Difficulty adjusted (again)
___________________________________________________

Gameplay:

Ghoul Grind: Night of the Necromancer is an autoscrolling-platformer game. You play as Nox Francisca and Veronica Mimeux and
fight swarms of the undead. Plenty of precise platforming and challenging enemies and obstacles to advance through.
Nox shoots slower axes at enemies for a more precise shot, and Veronica shoots a faster yet less precise magical beam from her dagger.
Switch between the two of them on the fly using the D-pad whenever the situation calls for it.

Included in this demo:

-3 Levels + 1 training level
-1 Boss
-Animated Cutscenes

Screenshots:



Known Bugs:
-screen transition tile glitching on the boss death cutscene
-split second sprite glitch when colliding with a death tile
-tutorial tile freeze bug

Itch.io/Download Page:


Let me know what you think and if you have any new bugs to report!

Special Thanks to everyone on the forums and in the discord for the help and fixes. Couldn't have gotten this far without all of you. :D
 
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AllDarnDavey

Active member
Damn... this game look amazing. The sprite art, backgrounds and characters designs are super polished.
  • The jumping skulls tend to shoot at your head, making my instinct to duck (which I can't), rather then to jump.

  • Would be cool if the two characters abilities varied more. Right now only special blocks that only one can destroy is the big reason to switch to one over the other. Maybe if one scrolled slower, jumped higher, or had a smaller bounding box. So there was more strategic reasons to switch.

  • A few mid level checkpoints would be nice, but maybe I just need to git gud.
 

Woogz

Member
AllDarnDavey said:
Damn... this game look amazing. The sprite art, backgrounds and characters designs are super polished.
  • The jumping skulls tend to shoot at your head, making my instinct to duck (which I can't), rather then to jump.

  • Would be cool if the two characters abilities varied more. Right now only special blocks that only one can destroy is the big reason to switch to one over the other. Maybe if one scrolled slower, jumped higher, or had a smaller bounding box. So there was more strategic reasons to switch.

  • A few mid level checkpoints would be nice, but maybe I just need to git gud.

Thank you! Everything's gone through plenty revisions over the past year or so.

As far as the jumping skeleton heads goes, they're meant to throw you off and make it so you have to jump over their fireballs in most instances (so I guess they're doing their job well then :lol: )

Funnily enough, I did actually experiment with character abilities and things of the sort a couple months back. I did try and make Veronica jump a bit higher than Nox at one point, but it ended up making her pretty OP and basically throwing off the level design. This being an auto-scroller made it difficult to find ways to make them both truly stand out as unique without breaking the game flow. Making their projectiles slightly faster or slower between characters seemed to work, but I'm also considering maybe giving Veronica a sort of Wavy projectile that bobs up and down so maybe it'd add more to the gameplay and strategy.

Checkpoint-wise, I was really considering putting a checkpoint in the middle of every level (or before the harder parts) after some beta-testers that helped me test this had some trouble with the difficulty. I'll definitely consider implementing that if others find the difficulty a bit too tough.
 

Otterbits

New member
Wow! I'm super impressed with the art here. It's just so nice and polished, and it all fits together nicely. At first I was a bit confused about the character switching but once I figured it out I thought it was pretty cool. I agree with AllDarnDavey that it would be cool if they were a bit different from each other, but I totally understand your explanation of why that is so difficult to implement. At first I thought this idea was going to be too simple, but it really is quite addicting to play and I want more!!! Good job!
 

Woogz

Member
Otterbits said:
Wow! I'm super impressed with the art here. It's just so nice and polished, and it all fits together nicely. At first I was a bit confused about the character switching but once I figured it out I thought it was pretty cool. I agree with AllDarnDavey that it would be cool if they were a bit different from each other, but I totally understand your explanation of why that is so difficult to implement. At first I thought this idea was going to be too simple, but it really is quite addicting to play and I want more!!! Good job!

Thanks for playing!

Honestly, I thought the game was a bit too simple when I was first developing it, which is why I added Veronica to switch things up. The levels in the full game are much more varied with the obstacles and enemy types so switching between characters will make much more sense as the game progresses ;)
 

AllDarnDavey

Active member
Finally made it to the boss (with a bit of emulation save state cheating).
Boss fight is cool, but he's a cake walk compared to the difficulty getting to him was (not sure if I'm asking to make the levels easier, or the boss harder).
Also bummed that you teach us about player specific blocks but never really use them outside that first tutorial level. But I'm guessing that's because this is just a demo, and they show up in harder levels.
 

Woogz

Member
AllDarnDavey said:
Finally made it to the boss (with a bit of emulation save state cheating).
Boss fight is cool, but he's a cake walk compared to the difficulty getting to him was (not sure if I'm asking to make the levels easier, or the boss harder).
Also bummed that you teach us about player specific blocks but never really use them outside that first tutorial level. But I'm guessing that's because this is just a demo, and they show up in harder levels.

Yeah, I do agree that the boss is a lot easier then the levels, it's kind of like an introduction of how bosses will work except less difficult. I can definitely up the difficulty for him a tad more though in an updated demo (with mid-level checkpoints as well) :D

The tutorial is a bit of a tease as far as the player-specific blocks go. They definitely make more sense as far as the full game goes since the tutorial just basically introduces them early on. The blocks do play a much larger part in the later levels, I decided to forgo them in the first few levels in a way to ease you into the platforming difficulty. They will definitely be prominent in the rest of the game.
 

superhat

New member
Very nice demo! The artwork is fantastic.

My only complaint is that the flying skulls shot their fireballs SO FAST, that I barely had time to react. It'd by nice if they waited just a second before they shot the fireball, or if the fireballs moved a little slower to give more of a chance to react. But, that's just a thought.

Overall, really fantastic demo. I look forward to the full game!
 

Logana

Active member
the art is great the music is vary repetitive but catchy the main issue i have in the game play and enemy's like the skulls witch are vary hard to stop, it feels like every step forward i take i gotta go back to the beginning also for the platforming it feels like no mater what i do it only lands at random especial for 3 tile jumps like sometimes i land on the platform and other times it looks like i landed but i died and the difficulty is an issue without save states, its not the megaman 2 difficulty where you want to try again to me its just frustrating idk maybe i should just get good but i feal that the difficulty makes the game feel bad to me along with the music because i just keep on hearing the same first part over and over and over again
 

Woogz

Member
superhat said:
Very nice demo! The artwork is fantastic.

My only complaint is that the flying skulls shot their fireballs SO FAST, that I barely had time to react. It'd by nice if they waited just a second before they shot the fireball, or if the fireballs moved a little slower to give more of a chance to react. But, that's just a thought.

Overall, really fantastic demo. I look forward to the full game!

Logana said:
the art is great the music is vary repetitive but catchy the main issue i have in the game play and enemy's like the skulls witch are vary hard to stop, it feels like every step forward i take i gotta go back to the beginning also for the platforming it feels like no mater what i do it only lands at random especial for 3 tile jumps like sometimes i land on the platform and other times it looks like i landed but i died and the difficulty is an issue without save states, its not the megaman 2 difficulty where you want to try again to me its just frustrating idk maybe i should just get good but i feal that the difficulty makes the game feel bad to me along with the music because i just keep on hearing the same first part over and over and over again

Thank you both for playing :D

Definitely going to post an updated demo within the next few days to address the difficulty and make it a bit more fair. Been beta-testing this for so long I guess I really overlooked how challenging some parts of the demo are.
 

Woogz

Member
12/1/2020 UPDATE:

A bit overdue. New demo out now on the new itch.io page:


Should be a lot better of an experience than the first demo was.

Updated Features:

-Difficulty Tweaked to be more fair
-Mid Level Checkpoints
-Different Enemy Placements
-First Boss Difficulty adjusted.

(Updated the Original Post above with more information)
 

5kids2feed

Active member
This is so good! Only able to play the beginning of the tutorial part since i'm at work, but can't wait to try the rest later!
 

Jonny

Active member
Intro is brilliant. It's really fun too.

The game froze straight after I ran into a wall with the wrong character. As soon as object changed to the two characters together it froze here...

GhoulGrind_000.png

The second time I ran the game it didn't happen (im using mesen).

I like that the jumps are quite hard and not very forgiving, it made me want to keep playing. However, on the second stage, the jump up on to a higher plaform seemed to need almost pixel perfection. I restarted about 5 times to get to that point and ended up giving up. Maybe tweek the jumps slightly, not a lot, just needs that little bit extra in my opinion anyway. See what others think. Too much and it would make the normal jumps too easy.
 
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5kids2feed

Active member
Okay.. I couldn't wait.. I completed it at work. Haha I was really impressed with this demo. Graphics and music were great! Lots of amazing coding that I have no clue how to do too!

Only bug I came across was those small guys that shoot at you.. sometimes you shoot them and they die.. and sometimes you shoot them, they start to die, but go to their next action of shooting at you.

Only constructive criticism is the final boss of the demo was super easy. Maybe have some holes in the floor and other monsters to interfere?

Otherwise.. two thumbs waaaaay up.
 

Jonny

Active member
Okay.. I couldn't wait.. I completed it at work. Haha I was really impressed with this demo. Graphics and music were great! Lots of amazing coding that I have no clue how to do too!

Only bug I came across was those small guys that shoot at you.. sometimes you shoot them and they die.. and sometimes you shoot them, they start to die, but go to their next action of shooting at you.

Only constructive criticism is the final boss of the demo was super easy. Maybe have some holes in the floor and other monsters to interfere?

Otherwise.. two thumbs waaaaay up.

I need to load the game again now to see the boss.

Don't know why I'm so lame that I can't make that jump. I'll keep trying....

EDIT: Demo complete!
 
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5kids2feed

Active member
I need to load the game again now to see the boss.

Don't know why I'm so lame that I can't make that jump. I'll keep trying....

Don't worry. I had trouble with the jump at first too. Just gotta figure out the timing like a good old school game :)
 

Jonny

Active member
Don't worry. I had trouble with the jump at first too. Just gotta figure out the timing like a good old school game :)

I had a lot of fun with it. The only critical points would be the high difficulty of jumps and enemy placement early on. Other than putting in the shoot wall mechanic in later levels, not much room for increased difficulty if that makes sense?

A agree about the boss. The movement and animation is on point but it's too easy to just button mash until it's dead.

Enemy's that take 2 hits would give some variety to later levels.
 

Woogz

Member
Okay.. I couldn't wait.. I completed it at work. Haha I was really impressed with this demo. Graphics and music were great! Lots of amazing coding that I have no clue how to do too!

Only bug I came across was those small guys that shoot at you.. sometimes you shoot them and they die.. and sometimes you shoot them, they start to die, but go to their next action of shooting at you.

Only constructive criticism is the final boss of the demo was super easy. Maybe have some holes in the floor and other monsters to interfere?

Otherwise.. two thumbs waaaaay up.
Thanks for the feedback! Glad you enjoyed it. When you say the small guys, are you referring to the jumping Skeleton heads? I'll check it out and see if I can figure out what's causing that.

The boss is admittedly very simple and can be easily cheezed to death. That, and finding a middle ground between easy and hard with the first boss has been a bit tough thanks to how NESMaker 4.1.5 handles auto-scrolling. One wrong change of the action step on and it the boss freezes in place and loses all collision. The other bosses in the full game don't have this problem however since they're designed a lot differently.

I think I've got a better boss pattern to make it more challenging. I might be able to post an update of the demo once again tonight if it works without fail 🙂
Intro is brilliant. It's really fun too.

The game froze straight after I ran into a wall with the wrong character. As soon as object changed to the two characters together it froze here...

View attachment 3878

The second time I ran the game it didn't happen (im using mesen).

I like that the jumps are quite hard and not very forgiving, it made me want to keep playing. However, on the second stage, the jump up on to a higher plaform seemed to need almost pixel perfection. I restarted about 5 times to get to that point and ended up giving up. Maybe tweek the jumps slightly, not a lot, just needs that little bit extra in my opinion anyway. See what others think. Too much and it would make the normal jumps too easy.
Thanks for the feedback. :) I haven't come across the game freezing on those tiles before. I'll see if I can repeat that glitch and see what's causing it.

You're right though, the jump to the higher platform is pretty precise. If it's ruining the flow of the level for everyone I'm definitely willing to adjust it.
I had a lot of fun with it. The only critical points would be the high difficulty of jumps and enemy placement early on. Other than putting in the shoot wall mechanic in later levels, not much room for increased difficulty if that makes sense?

A agree about the boss. The movement and animation is on point but it's too easy to just button mash until it's dead.

Enemy's that take 2 hits would give some variety to later levels.
There's a lot more variety in the later levels that expand upon the stuff present in the demo. Breakable wall mechanics do play a part in that of course. But for example, there's more advanced AI Enemies and different platforming obstacles create more unique/difficult challenges. Bosses get more advanced as well.

Honestly though, it's a bit of a dilemma releasing a demo for the game when there's so much more fun/challenging stuff happening in the full game that I cant really spoil 😞. In the full game, the levels that are featured in the demo mainly serve the purpose of easing you into the rest of the full game and getting used to the mechanics since they do advance a bit all throughout.
 

Woogz

Member
12/01/20 Update #2:

Addressing the prior feedback, I've updated the boss to make it more challenging, and modified the precise high platform part of the second stage to help the level flow better. New download is available at the Itch.io page:


As far as the other bugs though, I'll see if I can get them patched out 🙂
 
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