Iona Bloom/Potion Seller cave feedback and general "jumping" feedback

The Iona Bloom/Potion Seller cave feels pretty bad to play through, primarily for three reasons:

  1. Two of the jumps late on the path are extremely finickity, and as we can neither move nor zoom the camera, nor precisely control the character’s angle in the way we could in a first-person or third-person-over-the-shoulder game (all the Souls games are the latter, for example), they are very frustrating, because missing them will just kill you and make you do the whole thing over. Part of this is a general jumping issue which I’ll discuss separately.

  2. The route out of the cave after taking the Iona Bloom is wildly too long. To the point where it simply become boring and almost like a joke or prank on the player. This is an early-game challenge, introducing you to what I presume is a mechanic that will be used repeatedly later in the game, and it is maybe 3x to 5x too long for that. It should be relatively straightforward, especially as the reward is essentially non-existent, because you auto-fail, which feels bad and like you’re wasting the player’s time anyway. Making it also take a long time, potentially with plenty of deaths from missed jumps etc. is pretty bad.

  3. Iona Bloom bridges etc. don’t appear until you’re too close - in particularly, there is only one legitimate route out, and the bridge to it is actually pretty early on the route, but if you don’t naturally necessarily trigger it - you could run past it any number of times without triggering it. In general you have to go too close to the bridges. I would suggest increasing the range at which they appear by maybe 30%, and double-checking that any absolutely vital to the solution bridges are found more easily, whereas bridges for extra loot could be harder to find - in reality the reverse is currently true - it’s easy to find all the loot bridges.

The combat in the cave is pretty fine - it’s the route that is the issue. The whole “lol we blocked ur path find another way lol” thing just doesn’t sit well with “Oh actually you auto-fail haha!”. Pick one, I’d suggest.

Also if later similar Iona Bloom stuff is even longer, I feel like I’m just going to lose the will to live, and certainly the will to play - this isn’t hard, this is tedious and frustrating.

Two general points about jumping:

A) The sprint and roll buttons being the same button does not work well or feel good in this game, and seems especially odd given there are unused buttons on the controller and an entire unused stick. The particular problem with jumping is that in order to either jump or climb up something, you have to press the sprint/roll button - and then often you have to very rapidly release it to prevent your character sprinting dangerously when you land. But if you release it too soon, you just roll! And often when trying to climb up something requiring mantling, you just roll, because you weren’t at the super-precise angle where the mantle would work.

This is bad.

There are a number of potential different solutions, and you’re the game designers, so I won’t try to tell you which to pick, but I do think if you don’t separate the actions, you need to re-think quite a few puzzle/platforming designs. Some kind of indicator as to where you will end up, or if you can mantle might be the solution - if you can avoid it being visually obnoxious. Also why do we have to hold a button down to mantle at all? Why not just do it?

B) Because we can’t precisely orient our character like we can in a first-person or third-person-over-the-shoulder game, and we can’t zoom or move the camera, precision jumping is unnecessarily frustrating and feels like you’re struggling with bad controls, not doing skilled-but-tricky platforming, nor like you are interacting with an immersive survival-oriented Soulslike. You’re just struggling to face the right direction, and the performance issues and general darkness make this worse - you suggest we run at a lower resolution to get better performance - but it’s hard to see where we’re actually going to end up.


Yeah, it’s a huge issue. In general, the jumping just leaves a lot to be desired. Most of my deaths were caused by a jump that was ever so slightly off angle that I missed wherever I was jumping and just died.

I think it needs more leeway and smoothness in general. I’ve noticed that most of the time I jump somewhere, I kinda get caught on the edge. It feels real clunky to not have the character just jump over whatever gap and then continue sprinting or rolling or whatever, it just adds an extra moment of stutter that disrupts the flow.