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Bakhtosh

subjective gameplay feedback / gameplay questions

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I'd like to give some feedback on the gameplay and the fun aspect of Cluck Yegger.

It's not meant to be objective. It’s just how it feels to me. I'd like to add that I generally don’t really like action, tactical or strategy games. At least unless there is a clear path to deduce a solution, the gameplay is very rewarding or the story drags me into. So from time to time I play and beat games from these genres (e.g. Lemmings, Wing Commander, Tomb Raider).

So feel free to simply discard my opinion/impression as comments from someone who was never target group of the game, since it's supposed to be a small game only to be beaten by more hardcore ( ;)
 ) players.

 

 

I have to say that to me Cluck Yegger isn't fun. It's supposed to be a minigame and therefore it's ok if the story is rather simple. I also like the graphics and humor. But when it comes to the gameplay I got frustrated already in night 3. I try to explain why.

The main reason is that I don't see a clear path how to create a strategy (and getting better and better at it) to get through the nights with an increasing number of foes. That is caused by too many variables I’m simply not sure about how they really work:

  1. I don’t know how fast the foes are. They aren’t animated - so I can’t get a hint from the observed movement. I wasn’t able to track them (using night vision) disappearing and appearing from one room to the next to get an idea (cameras often displaying distortions don't help here). I guess they move after a certain percentage of an hour (turn based). But I don’t know how long a turn is. And if some foes needs e.g. two turns to move and others only one turn.
  2. I don’t know what the camera lights do to the foes exactly. I think Chuck said they stun the foes. But it’s unclear how long (turns?) they are stunned. And if they are only stunned or are scared a bit so that they run away. And if so if they run to the exit or into a random direction. Or if that depends on the foes. It’s also unclear how long I have to turn a light on to cause that effect. For a complete "turn" or is just a blink enough.
  3. I don’t know if the battery power is calculated turn based or linear. Do I save power if I only turn on light/night vision for an instant or not (since its turn based). It's also unclear to me how much power a certain feature needs absolute and relative to each other. Would be helpful to know that feature x needs y percentage of battery power in an hour.
  4. What are the shields for? Can I block the entrance to the ship? Or do I have to use it if something tries to breach the cockpit window? I had the feeling that two times Chuck was surprised by something that didn’t came from a corridor. But I’m not really sure about that.
  5. I can't really see something on the cameras with light & night vision off. I'm sure you're not supposed to see much. But at least foes at a certain position (while not at a different position). But to me it seems I never see foes using that mode making it totally useless. Or is probably just the brightness/gamma setting of my display too low?

 

I guess if I play the night again and again sooner or later I would find out about the mentioned variables. Due to too many unclear aspects it’s somewhat frustrating to me so far. And apart from even more foes the next night I don’t see any reward. No extras (one shot laser pistol, ship system coming online because of the repairs) I could use the next night if I survive this one and no cool cutscene or conversation. So I simply gave up for now.

If someone can answer the mentioned questions I will hopefully able to create a strategy and try it again.
My suggestion would be to make the aspects more clear (maybe more detailed instructions, maybe some Cluck comments, maybe a graphical hint about when a turn ends).


Apart from the gamplay aspects I also noticed a few very minor technical issues:

  • the scroll bar / done button in the instructions screen is not cut out correctly (corners are black - not transparent)
  • the scroll speed using the mousewheel is much to slow at my system at the instructions screen
  • at the instructions screen scrolling using the arrow and/or page up/down keys would be nice
  • ESC closes the game without warning

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I don’t know what the camera lights do to the foes exactly. I think Chuck said they stun the foes. But it’s unclear how long (turns?) they are stunned. And if they are only stunned or are scared a bit so that they run away. And if so if they run to the exit or into a random direction. Or if that depends on the foes. It’s also unclear how long I have to turn a light on to cause that effect. For a complete "turn" or is just a blink enough.

They do push back into other rooms, generally the next time lightning strikes and causes static they will have disappeared from the room you flashed the light in.

 

I don’t know if the battery power is calculated turn based or linear. Do I save power if I only turn on light/night vision for an instant or not (since its turn based). It's also unclear to me how much power a certain feature needs absolute and relative to each other. Would be helpful to know that feature x needs y percentage of battery power in an hour.

The current battery usage is indicated by the color (green = low, yellow = medium, red = high). It does take a bit of testing to figure out the best strategy.

 

What are the shields for? Can I block the entrance to the ship? Or do I have to use it if something tries to breach the cockpit window? I had the feeling that two times Chuck was surprised by something that didn’t came from a corridor. But I’m not really sure about that.

The shields only really come into play after night 3.

 

I can't really see something on the cameras with light & night vision off. I'm sure you're not supposed to see much. But at least foes at a certain position (while not at a different position). But to me it seems I never see foes using that mode making it totally useless. Or is probably just the brightness/gamma setting of my display too low?

I don't really see that as a "mode" as much as enforcing the need for the lights/night vision.

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Thanks for your answers. :)

With your input I was able to beat the game.
I raised the brightness setting of my monitor and afterwards using the camera with light & night vision turned off I am able to see foes at certain positions while I can’t see them at other positions and can’t see puddles foes left this way. That makes a lot of sense. I suggest to raise the default gamma/brightness/contrast for the camera with light & night vision off a bit. With the shield it seems you were slightly wrong. I had to use it to block the first cockpit window attack at the end of night 3.

 

 

The following points were important for me to understand:

  • each lightning in the cockpit or camera display turning into static means a turn ends
  • if I turn on the lights (normal or camera) if a foe is present he runs into a neighboring room, but it can also be into your direction (or did I get a false impression here?)
  • all foes seems to able to move one room per turn (not completely sure)
  • you can see from damages and puddles how if foes have already passed a certain room
  • from a certain point onwards there’s a heavy foe outside who will attack you through the cockpit window (you can hear its heavy steps) and can only be blocked with the shields

 

Things I still don’t understand:

  • What’s the point of turning on the lights? The foes are moving from room to room without me doing something. If I turn on the lights foes are running into a neighboring room. What’s the advantage if he can still move into my direction?
  • An intuitive strategy would be to try to detect the foes using the camera in different modes and to scare them so that they reach the cockpit later than if you don’t do that. But since it happens that you scare the foes also into your direction that doesn’t work well for me. You have two possible directions to check and if you use much light or night vision you lose too much battery power checking all the rooms to reach the end of the night. Additionally you are interrupted too often later on by the cockpit window attacks and by random short circuits.

 

I don’t think that the strategy I finally used to beat the game is the intended strategy:

 

I tried a lot of different variations of tracking down the foes with the different camera modes early to scare them away for a few turns each. But as I wrote above that didn’t work that well for me. I was able to beat night 5 this way after numerous trials. But then my strategy changed. Up to 12PM I only checked the cameras with turned off lights / night vision and only turned the lights on if I noticed a foe that way. I didn't want to waste power early but still slow down the foes a bit. Then I only worked with the doors, the shield and the corridor lights. After I finished the game for the first time I wondered if it would be possible to not use the cameras at all. And it’s possible. I finished the game a second time without using cameras.

 

 

The simple no camera usage strategy:
Wait until you can see the first foe through the cockpit window or in later nights for the first cockpit window attack. Then wait 5 turns (lightnings). Now start the following. After a lightning (a turn ends):

  • shortly turn on/off the left and right corridor light to check if a foes sits at the door or a step behind in the corridor
  • if a foe sits at the door close the door
  • if you closed a door in the last turn (because of a foe sitting at the door) open it, turn on/off the lights to check if he’s still there and either close the door again (foes still there) or leave it open (foe is gone or sits a step back in the corridor)
  • if the heavy outside step sounds stop turn on the shield to block the cockpit window attack
  • if you have blocked a cockpit window attack and the outside foe did its first new step turn off the shield
  • if a short circuit happens quickly revert to the previous settings (shield on/off, left/right door on/off)

With these simple steps I was able to finish the game and didn’t need more than up to 3 trails each for the nights 5 and up (and that only because of short circuits in the wrong moments).


So I wonder if it would be a good idea to make the

  • observe camera and scare foes away strategy work better (e.g. by scaring the foes always away from you or by lowering the power usage for the camera lights and/or night vision) 
  • observe the doors using the lights and block them if needed work worse (e.g. by raising the corridor lights and/or door power usage)

I don't know if this would really work well. Seems to me like a balancing problem you can only solve by trying different settings.

 

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In response to:

 

Things I still don’t understand:

  • What’s the point of turning on the lights? The foes are moving from room to room without me doing something. If I turn on the lights foes are running into a neighboring room. What’s the advantage if he can still move into my direction?

When the chickens are flashed, they retreat to a location that is further away from cluck. Each chicken has a certain path that it takes to get to the cockpit, although I will tell you that after night 5, they start skipping rooms to get to you. You can still keep flashing them to make them go back. 

  • An intuitive strategy would be to try to detect the foes using the camera in different modes and to scare them so that they reach the cockpit later than if you don’t do that. But since it happens that you scare the foes also into your direction that doesn’t work well for me. You have two possible directions to check and if you use much light or night vision you lose too much battery power checking all the rooms to reach the end of the night. Additionally you are interrupted too often later on by the cockpit window attacks and by random short circuits.

So I believe my last response answers this. Flashing them makes them go further away. They will never get closer to you if they are flashed.

 

By the way, thanks for this feedback. It's helpful to hear the kinds of things you've brought up:)

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So my intuition how the light should work and about a basic strategy was right. Just my observations were wrong and for that reason the strategy probably failed.

 

It think my observations failed because I wasn’t able to track the foes correctly for the following reasons:

  • If you have bad luck a moving camera doesn’t complete it’s movement during a complete turn so that it’s possible that even with night vision on you didn’t see a present foe
  • In case of a short circuit you can’t observe cameras at least for one turn (often two if you deactivate the shield or open a door again)
  • Knowing that there is more than one foe coming I felt like I have to switch cameras to get an overview. That makes it harder to recognize the movement of specific foes.
  • It’s a kind of hard to recognize the different foe types. One reason are the different perspectives you see the foes from. The other reason is that you constantly switch cameras and if two not too different foes are in neighboring rooms it probably happened often that I mistook one foe for another. I was only able to really differentiate between the thinner and fatter chickens.
  • I thought that the rooms were connected in a way that simply isn’t true. I thought the foes have to follow this route:
    Lab -> Factory -> Lobby -> Outside -> RR Gear -> Cargo -> Engine Room -> Quarters -> Air Duct -> Left or Right Corridor
    But it now seems to be that the foes doesn’t have to enter through the RR Gear and also can enter the Corridors directly from the Quarters. The last connection is hinted on the camera map but I didn’t pay attention since this map doesn’t show all connections. So I discarded is as connection map.

Together I got the feeling that the light also can scare a foe into my direction (mistook one foe for another, false image of the connection, overlooked foe due to bad luck with camera movement/short circuit). That also explains why scaring away foes room by room sometimes worked and sometimes it didn’t and why my strategy failed.


It’s very well possible that all these things I misinterpreted or didn’t understand/noticed/observed correctly was just the stupid me. It would be helpful to know if and if so, how many others had similar problems. I wonder if others:

  • quickly noticed that the game is turn based, that the foes don’t move after a fixed individual amount of time but instead move when a turn ends (amount of steps changes with rising night number) and that a lightning/static camera screen marks the end of a turn
  • were able to differentiate and keep track of the different foe types, got the right idea about the room connections and were more successful with the scare foes away step by step strategy
  • noticed fast at the end of night 3 that Cluck is killed through the cockpit window and that you have to use the shield once the heavy steps get loud and then stop
  • were successfully using more advanced strategies in the last nights than my simply “only use shield, doors and corridor lights” strategy or if all use more or less this simple strategy in the end


An additional minor technical issues:
It happened once that the dawn already started when a chicken jumped on the console in front of Cluck. The night was registered as won though. I wasn’t able to reproduce it yet since you have to play through a whole night and obviously the timing has to be very specific to get this effect.

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Hey Bakhtosh,

 

We unfortunately have not gotten as detailed of feedback as you have given, so it's hard to say if other have experienced your same frustrations. I will tell you that most of the feedback we have received has been positive. As you probably know, the game is about trial and error to some extent. Even though it's a mini game, we didn't want to make it super easy. This game is a parody of the wildly successful Five nights at freddy franchise. Oddly enough, that game has no instructions and very little VO help to tell you what to do. It managed to sell thousands of copies though and has an insanely loyal following. 

 

I 100% agree that things need to be a little more clear, which is why our next update will include more VO from cluck to hint at some more things. Perhaps more instructions as well. It's a little bit of a balancing act though. We do want the game to be beatable, but not too easy.

 

Thanks again for all your feedback :)

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