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codeminion
02-12-2008, 03:45 AM
Hi,

We’ve just launched a new website on www.codeminion.com and we’ll be very grateful for any kind of feedback. Do you see any technical problems or have any suggestions? And generally what do you think about it?

Along with the website we are launching an open beta version of our new game, StoneLoops! of Jurassica. Again we’ll be very happy if you take a look at it and say what you think. The game is basically a marble popper set in the prehistoric era, but like with all our games (i.e. Magic Match) it features a twist in the mechanics which changes the entire experience. The game was developed for us in about a year by a second party (farm51) basing on our design and then taken in-house for half year of polishing.

Direct beta download link:
http://codeminion.net/downloads/StoneLoopsSetup_Beta.exe

Screenshots:
http://codeminion.com/gfx/screenshots/stoneloops_beta_1.jpg
http://codeminion.com/gfx/screenshots/stoneloops_beta_2.jpg
http://codeminion.com/gfx/screenshots/stoneloops_beta_3.jpg

If you would like to be notified about updates made to StoneLoops! during the testing you can join our beta program mailing list on the website. There is also a survey about the game one has to fill out in order to be considered for the closed full version beta. We can also reveal a secret that we hope to have a beta version of Saqqarah, our new in-house flagship project in about two months!

Regards and looking forward for your feedback!
Maciek and Konrad
www.codeminion.com

smirnova
02-12-2008, 03:57 AM
I think you've made a good work. Really pleasant for an eye.

Emmanuel
02-12-2008, 04:08 AM
About StoneLoops:

The production values are excellent. Graphics, music and effects (particles, rain, etc.) are top drawer.

The early levels drag on for too long. At some point I thought I wasn't doing something I was supposed to in order to complete the first level (I think I got like 5 or 6 waves).

As with any recent games using the popcap framework, your aspect ratio correction (m_FixedAspect I think the member is called) looks bad on my system (Vista with nvidia 8600GT). When aspect correction is on, in fullscreen, everything is very pixelated. I'm sure it's a driver bug with the odd method popcap use (BitBlt instead of a viewport resize) but I've heard similar reports from a lot of people about other titles. You may want to add an aspect ratio correction setting, or see if there's a solution from popcap.

The voice-over is quite loud and not well blended into the rest of the SFX, and takes me out of the game every time the guy speaks.

Is one of the unlockable modes the 'regular' ball popper mechanic (just shoot stuff) or are all the modes using the 'pick and pile' method that your classic mode uses? Just curious, the pick up and drop mode gives slower rewards and has some design issues (such as ending up with two blue balls and no blue ball to pick up in any other place, as it happened while I played).

Best regards,
Emmanuel

codeminion
02-12-2008, 09:28 AM
Thanks for the feedback. ( Keep it coming! )

Emmanuel:

We are already addressing the level length problem. The pixilation bug is a known problem with Popcap framework but so far there is no solution. We also could not get the framework to disable the mode while the application is running, but we will be working on it, especially if we get many complaints.

All three modes of play feature the ‘pick and pile’ mechanic. We know about the design issues and we are still investigating several options when it comes to ending the level, finishing chains, throwing balls out of the screen, etc. But if you have any particular improvements on your mind, we'll be very happy to hear them!

Regards,
Maciek and Konrad
www.codeminion.com

Maupin
02-12-2008, 10:02 AM
Your website is nice. I like the copper/wood on black color scheme, and especially the curve of the page footer. Very nice.

My only suggestion is that the $ for the company icon is just a bit odd. As if you focus on making money, not making games. ;) Maybe a building or generic primitive shape - or perhaps just your logo - would make a friendlier icon?

oNyx
02-12-2008, 10:27 AM
Website:

For a dark layout it's surprisingly easy on the eyes. No rendering issues with FF. However, the markup of those unordered lists is slightly garbled. Right now it looks like:

<li .../><a ...>...</a>

Instead of:

<li ...><a ...>...</a></li>

Also the error console shows a JS error message about "_gat" being undefined. So, that tracking thing might not work as intended.

OremLK
02-12-2008, 11:19 AM
I think the site is fantastic. I'd go so far as to say it's the best site design I've yet seen for an indie game developer. No problems with the latest version of FF. Most things except the top menus seem to work okay with JS disabled, too, so that's a plus--I'd prefer it if I didn't have to enable JavaScript at all but I can still get the demo and buy the game without it.

Jesse Hopkins
02-13-2008, 06:38 PM
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TeeGee
02-15-2008, 09:42 AM
Hey guys, thanks for all the feedback and for the surveys you've sent :). It really helped us a lot! We uploaded a new beta version of StoneLoops with some things polished, based on the comments we've got. Check it out if you'd like.

Here are the download links:
Download (http://codeminion.com/downloads/StoneLoopsSetup_Beta.exe)
Mirror (http://www.getmagi.com/StoneLoopsSetup_Beta.exe)

If you played the old beta, then your progress will be lost, sadly. The good news are that you'll have an another hour of gameplay ;).

Have fun!

Full list of changes (v1.01):

- Levels a bit shorter now, especially the first ones
- There’s more fun and havoc after getting additional powerups in the bonus rounds now
- Music was added to the tutorial screen.
- Made bonus rounds more clear. Now for the first time you play it, the correct rocks are highlighted
- Powerups are more visible now
- Reduced volume of the menu button sounds and of some of the voiceovers
- Made the game ask for the player’s name before showing the main menu screen
- Changed “User” to “Player” in Hi Scores
- During gem gathering at the end of a level, the cursor is not shown anymore
- Additional hint – last possible match on the screen is highlighted now
- Added message boxes when you unlock new game modes
- First bonus rounds are a bit easier now
- Collisions on some levels were fixed
- It’s easier now to check “Don’t show this again” box
- “Level Complete” graphical effect was improved
- Fixed a couple of typos and grammar mistakes
- When you change a profile to one that doesn’t have additional modes unlocked, the fishbones blen-in nicely
- “Danger” music is played a bit later than before