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simonoc
01-08-2008, 12:09 PM
The last couple of months I have been busy trying to make a casual content puzzle game called Flipper using the TGB system from Garage Games. I have been interested in making my own game for a very long time and I wanted to start out with a simple idea first before creating something more complex.

The game is based on a board tile system with 30 levels and a built-in editor. I am especially interested in people's first experience of the game and how easy / frustrating it is to get started. I am also interested in game play feedback on the levels included in the game, what levels do you like / are frustrated with?

Website Info: http://www.simonoc.com/pages/design/games/flipper.htm

The download link for this game is at the top of the above website page.

A screenshot from the game:
http://www.simonoc.com/images/design/game_flipper/sa_screenshot01.jpg

The website contains alot of help and hints for the game if you want more information.
Please note this game is completely free to download / use.

simonoc
01-10-2008, 01:43 PM
Wow I never thought I would find a forum that has such a hard crowd to new comers but maybe I need to introduce myself and state why I am here before anyone will take me seriously when I ask for feedback on something I have spent months creating.

My website (http://www.simonoc.com/pages/design.htm) contains my work over the last 8 years and I am extremely proud of it. The site is designed by me and contains plenty of screenshots of my best work. I have been fascinated by computer games for the last 25 years and involved in computer game design for the last 10 years. My initial interest was with level design but I have also created art assets for various engines.

I have worked for Splashdamage on various projects (RTCW:MP, Enemy Territory, Doom3 MP and Quake Wars) and RavenSoftware on RTCW2. I am currently working at Crytek in the Budapest office on an undisclosed project. I have plenty of years of game design experience but also realise that I am still learning and constantly looking for feedback from my peers.

As I stated in my original post I have always wanted to try my hand at creating an indie project and that is what my game Flipper is about. A puzzle game with features that build up over various levels making more complex puzzles to solve. I know it is not final (still lacking sounds) but I am specifically after game play feedback. I plan to fix the lack of sound in the next build.

Why am I here?

It took me a long time to find a location on the internet that has a good collection of indie developers and this is why I am here. I am looking for feedback so that I can learn from my mistakes and see how I can design better games. I have spent a long time reading through these forums and I know people here are honest with their feedback. Example:


Ok, here's what I think, just my opinion, but I'm trying to be impartial and honest, and not trying to offend, but offer helpful criticism.


Your game is not good enough to sell in any quantity.

I am here to hear what other developers have to say about what I have created. I am well aware that everyone here has a busy life but if you have a spare 10mins coffee break then kick off your shoes and enjoy a quick brain puzzle to keep you on your toes.

As I said in the first post am I specifically after your first impression and the ultimate question is the game fun and interesting?

Thank you for your time
Simon OCallaghan

Seb
01-10-2008, 02:19 PM
the game is nice... but it lacks music and flair.
i'm working on a similar concept and i try to make it more appealing to casual gamers. you should introduce some characters or whatever. the monkey from the intro for example.

i like you homepage however. looks great.

hope i could help.

greetings,
seb

Seb
01-10-2008, 02:21 PM
oh ok - you are aware it has no sound ;)

well, as already said: i think it COULD be fun, if you introduce some more exciting elements like characters and story and things like that.

papillon
01-10-2008, 02:34 PM
Well, lack of response might be an early sign that your game simply isn't that compelling. :)

I look at the screenshot and I wonder... what IS it? Some sort of puzzle game, obviously. The colors really don't appeal to me. The patterns on top of them are abstract and unclear - I have some guesses about what they mean, but I can't tell for sure from the screenshot. The vague title 'Flipper' had me expecting pinball, honestly. I don't know what to make of what I've found.

I'm not a big logic puzzle fan, so just because it's a puzzle isn't enough to entice me that I absolutely must play it. Dumb as it sounds, exciting titles, graphics, and concepts really do push people over that first gap to trying things they'd otherwise ignore... even if they're free.

Your background doesn't make a difference to me. :)

Now... Seb says there's a monkey? Monkeys are good. See, now I'm encouraged to download and find out about the monkey!

Therion
01-10-2008, 04:33 PM
Ok, i just tried the game and got some small feedback to give (though this game isn't especially my cup of tea):

Things i liked:

- "Flip" Pieces animation: I really liked this, though the flip animation when you mouse over a piece is distracting.

- General Polish: It talks for itself.

- Your website: Nice design and polished as well.

Things i disliked:

- No sound: You are already aware of this, so isn't really relevant.

- Too abstract graphical theme: this is more related to my particular taste and is important too iif your game is targeting to casual gamers.

- Game name: doesn't stands out very much, it make me think of a pinball, as papillon said before, maybe something like "Flipout" or "Flipped!" ?

I saw these points at a quick glance. Hope this helps!.

Cheers!

simonoc
01-10-2008, 11:17 PM
Thanks everyone for the feedback, it is all useful to me no matter what is said. :)

Umm good point on the story / theme / character thing. I was so wrapped up with trying to creating the logic of the puzzle I forgot about the character of the game. I certainly will fix that in my next game. I never realised how important the central character of a game was until now.

Yeah the colour scheme was initially designed around the tiles but after adding the special tiles things got too messy. I will plan the colour scheme better for next time, certainly need to choose a more subtle scheme.

Also please could you let me know what level you got to with the game? Was any levels too hard? too easy?

Thanks
Simon OC

Seb
01-11-2008, 02:07 AM
I played levels 1-7. i think the difficulty level is okay for people who like puzzles. might be too difficult for casual gamers. level 6 and 7 were already quite challenging. maybe it would be a good idea to implement two or three different difficulty levels for beginners (kids), medium (casual gamers) and pros (advanced puzzle gamer).

Slackluster
02-01-2008, 04:46 PM
Graphics - I like it. Good clean presentation. I think the whirwind particle effect to highlight the current piece doesn't quite fit though I can see why you need something there.

Gameplay. Any reason the piece moves on mouse up instead of mouse down? Reason I ask is because if it was on mouse down you could also let the player just drag the mouse through the path the want it to go instead of clicking everytime. I found it interesting and fun to play. The difficulty level ramps up a bit fast but I think thats just the nature of this kind of game. Also, you need to keep track somewhere which levels the player beat. Maybe on the levels screen just put a star or something next to the ones they beat.

Sound - There is none, but I think thats ok. Unlike many people I don't think casual games need music because most people will have their own music going if they wanted to be listening to music at that point in time. Sound FX would a nice polish item though and should be easy to throw in at this point.

Bottom line - I think you have a good little game here. I also like that you have a nice write up on your site to help others. As a free casual game I think it works great!