SM (Subway Miner) is another scroller entry where you play as Sam running
through the three-lane "underground" railroad system, collecting mese crystals
on the ground for fun. This isn't a particularly original entry with
original mechanics, but the execution here is high-effort enough that I can't bring myself to dislike it. Especially when place in the context of the often blocking MTE
As you might have guessed from SM's screenshot, this game uses actual models for
the stranded cars and obstacles on the railroad tracks. Quite a lot of detail
went into matching the style of the models together, but alas could not be
matched with MTG's nodes. It's little faults like these that are ever present in
SM, not only in the graphics department but so too music+sounds.
Overall, I would give this a recommendation. SM still is able to meet my
expectations of a scroller game despite it's many spotty flaws. I hope more work
is continued to polished the rough state of SM. Anyways, I managed a high score
of 517 mese crystals and playtime of 0:06:11.
It's not hard to beat, but I invite you to beat me anyways.
3D three-track one-way scroller game. Literally an inferior clone of popular
mobile scroller games. You can't get any more unimaginative than this. Despite
this, the fun is certainly there. I just expected more.
In contrast to BA (Balloonair), SM could really need some rework with the
mechanics. The formula while not perfect is still enjoyable enough to play for
a couple quick rounds. The controls in particular need a lot more love. Janky is
the best way to describe the controls, highlight of the jank show being the slide
mechanic. Sliding forces you to stay put until you stop sliding, which is too
long. Jumping also share a similar fate being that you're stuck on the current
lane until you stop jumping. Thankfully, jumping animation is really short so
it's more forgiveable. There's a reason why Subway Surfers allowed moving while
jumping though - it's insanely more fun to do so.
Apart from the controls, the map itself is very repetitive, to the point where
after 5 minutes you just instinctively know all of the set pieces. These preset
layouts, while a great idea, depends a lot of well-designed placements and
routes. Speaking of routes, there's not enough of them in SM. What am I speaking
about? Well, in the original inspiration for SM, there's more than a single
route in many of the set pieces: you can go on top of trains, pick the easier or
the greedy track, clutch a hoverboard to get past a game-ending set piece, etc.
Absence of this relatively known gameplay make SM a much more boring MTE
counterpart to the real thing.
Spectacular but not flawless, especially rings true with the animations and node
choices. Jumping and sliding again, both need more love. With jumping, it feels
like i'm doing a triangle wave. With sliding, sam just falls flat on the
railroad tracks while gliding (somewhat hilarious heh). Again, these things add
up to the jankness feeling of SM.
Next, the model and node choices don't synergize with each other. This is
readily made apparent if you ever touched MTG, in which case you realize it's
just borrowed from there. Perhaps this perception is more so caused by the lack
of environment surround the scroller rather than the textures themselves, but
it's clear that something's missing here. The premise may also have to do with
this, being that SM implies some sort of an underground 2-way railway network or
something similar. The car models are quite convncing... Too bad the rest isn't.
So, I'm left rather conflicted with the graphics here, despite the well-made models.
Again, just like the Graphics and the Gameplay Section, the UI/UX of SM isn't
quite there. While I applaud the use of a menu for options et cetera, it's just
not up to par with some of the other more stylistic menus in other entries.
Cosmetics aside, the menu is functional and serves its purpose with the bonus of
being one of the first MTE games to showcase a good implementation. My highest
concern would be the screen portability on smaller devices, which to me seems
not well-thought out
(large empty space under Help interface).
One thing I find mildly annoying was the off-centered HUD display counting down
when beginning a round of SM. This also bleeds into the game over
screen which felt
unpolished to say the least.
"Why is the music off by default? Ohh that's why..." yeah, the music is just
hackneyed into SM. I would rather not have to listen to the "uplifting" music I
hear on youtube tutorial channels. Music aside, the sound design is much, much
better than many of the entries in the game jam. Menu buttons sounds like
buttons and that's a +1 from me. Unfortunately, there's some faults here too,
again with the countdown, this time being out of sync with the HUD. One obvious
suggestion I would like to offer is to add distinct "clunk" noises when I hit a
train or obstacle.
All of that you said were on my TODO list, but lack of time...
The mapgen will be improved after the game jam ends, and the abbility to change lane while jumping will be added.
The player movement is completly codded in lua with a bunch of obj:set_velocity(). It doesn't re-use any engine movement code, which means that for doing a realistic physic, I would to recode the engine code in lua... in 3 weeks...
But yes, the movement is a bit rough.
I re-used mtg textures and nodes basically because I am very bad at making remappable textures :)
The sliding animation is not good. I wanted to remake it but I didn't get the time, plus the b3d exporter looks broken with Blender 3.0.
Due to the use of the hypertext formspec element, I wasn't able to provide good looking menus for both large and small displays. (this was said in the package description). I had to choice between high quality menus and compatibility with small devices...
About the music, due to the lack of time, I took a random free one from Pixabay.
Existing sounds effects were already very hard to find, so I focused on codding rather then searching more and more sound effects.
I wanted a complete game rather than a good looking, but not working game.