Gem Diver is a bare-bones roguelite set at the bottom of an alien ocean. You are stranded on a seemingly deserted, unknown planet with only a small ship. Through diving deeper and deeper into the planet's ocean, you collect precious gems that fuel, upgrade, and energize your ship. You must learn how to deftly maneuver your ship and harness its abilities, in order to survive the dangers below the surface and collect enough gems to escape the planet.

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As of now, Gem Diver is a work-in-progress prototype meant for testing core mechanics and concepts. With enough feedback from players, this modest demo will soon grow into a much bigger, much better, and much more fun game. The full game is currently being developed, and will be officially announced in early August. Follow the creation progress and look for more details coming soon on Twitter and Tumblr.

Published Feb 11, 2018
StatusPrototype
PlatformsHTML5
Rating
(2)
Authorpfail
GenreSurvival, Adventure, Puzzle, Strategy
Made withUnity
TagsColorful, Dungeon Crawler, Roguelike, Roguelite, Sci-fi, Tactical, Turn-based
Average sessionA few minutes
InputsKeyboard, Mouse

Development log

Comments

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Hi,

I liked this game and played it a few times before posting this feedback. I think the concept is great, the theme is really well done, the controls are intuitive and the "arrow of play" (where to go, what to do, etc.) is clear.

What I think you can improve on: it's hard to tell what pickups/gems do. Often, I end up risking a bunch of fuel only to get a hull upgrade when I have full health, or some such. It would be really beneficial if I could tell what pickups are when I can see them (I didn't notice if there was a consistent pattern, eg. yellow = fuel).

Also, the fuel management part is really hard. It's really easy to swim down the wrong (empty) section of a map and end up blowing out your fuel budget. Not sure how you can improve this though.

Hey there!

Thanks so much for playing and for taking the time to leave a comment. This is really great feedback!

It's great to know that the direction of what to do and how to do it is clear. I see what you're saying about the pick-ups, and I'll definitely take that into consideration. My thinking there was that remembering what each gem does (because their power-ups are consistent) would be part of the game. Sort of taking a cue from Roguelikes in not naming what an item does until you use it.

Also, I totally hear you on the fuel management side of things. In fact, the current version of this game has changed the way we handle fuel and health completely. I'd love to hear your thoughts on those updates! If you're at all interested in testing the updated version (it's changed quite a lot tbh), let me know and I can find a way to get you a link to the demo.

Thanks again!

I see what you're saying about gems vs. unidentified potions. That makes sense. I think this problem will go away automatically if fuel management becomes a non-issue.

Sure, I'd love to try out the updated version if you're willing to share it.

(Edited 2 times) (+1)

I like the game! Here are some suggestions I have: 

Can you make it so that there is something like a monster encyclopedia and after we see a monster and go to a new depth, we have it's movement pattern charted? Because I was confused when I first saw monsters. It would be nice if there was some sort of defense mechanism. Can you make it so that monsters after to stop one square before their max before they can attack? Because I can't past that first monster due to that. Can you make upgrades permanent, at least for that run? Because I keep getting pinned by the floating head.

Thank you! The beginning of the game is definitely the most difficult, at least in terms of progression, so I see where you're coming from. Your suggestions are interesting, especially the idea of a "monster encyclopedia". I don't think I would put that in this prototype, but that is something I'll absolutely try to put in the full game. Really appreciate you taking the time to play and comment, and thanks for the awesome feedback!

(+1)

You're very welcome! This game has a very interesting concept, it just needs to be polished up a bit. Otherwise, it's amazing!

(+1)

I'll just say I agree with the previous poster about everything positive. The aesthetic is spot on, and once you get a bit more movement under your belt, trying to navigate around obstacles and flying heads is a fun puzzle.

That puzzle seems like it's the core of the game, and I feel like you should lead with that, maybe give the player that first upgrade right off the bat, since getting enough gems for it seems like a bit of a die roll.

I'm actually pretty happy with just the single enemy type. It lets me just kind of zone out and map out optimal routes without having to juggle a bunch of different enemy movement patterns.

The audio could use some work, but I'm sure you know that.

All in all I'm quite happy with this as-is, and I can't wait to see what you do with it in the future!

Thank you! That's so good to know the puzzle of movement/navigation is resonating with you. It's absolutely what I wanted to build the game around, this idea of a game based on positioning and defense.

And yes, I absolutely know what you mean about how reaching the first upgrade can feel like a dice roll. I was hoping to illustrate early on how much of a difference each upgrade—and the work it takes to get to the next upgrade—can make for your ship. But you're probably right that first one should be easier to grab. I'll have to explore how to best implement that.

You're also right about the audio! Haha.. I sort of shoved it in last minute, otherwise I'd spend way too long trying to make it all perfect. Glad to know the things I did spend a lot more time on work better. Thanks again for the comment!

(+1)

Hey, I played several rounds, making it to Depth 11 and unlocking some upgrades. First of all, I love the clean, muted aesthetic. It's very screenshotable, if that's a word. With more varied environments (talking both layout and visuals) this could be a looker.


Gameplay-wise it's a solid start, if very simple. Roguelikes are pretty much about risk vs reward and survival. There is a note in the game that says it gets better later on with upgrades, and that's true. It feels almost unfair at the beginning where evading enemies is almost impossible if you're in their range. What I'd like to see is to be able to check the movement range of enemies by hovering mouse over them. And maybe introduction of action points, so that both you and enemies would have to manage spending action points on every action? That's just a quick thought, and maybe you have some very different stuff in mind.


Also, would love to see boss fights and maybe some storyline bits and pieces here and there to reflect progression not just by upgrades. The good thing is you can take this prototype into many directions, which is very exciting part of game development. I'm looking forward to what you'll come up with.

Wow, this is such good feedback. Thank you!

I love your idea about checking movement range with a mouse over, and I'll definitely take the AP suggestion into consideration. As for progression, my plan for the full game is entirely narrative driven, including a number of different environments and set pieces. I hadn't yet considered the idea of boss fights, but I think that's definitely worth looking into. In any case, there will be events and narrative beats that the gameplay centers around. 

Thanks again for writing such a constructive comment.