View Full Version : Factoral Blocks - My First Game Ever

03-06-2008, 10:11 AM
So, I've been working on the prototype of this game for about 2 weeks using gamemaker and I'm ready to say that I'm basically done with the game. I am hoping to get some feedback on the game before I remake it using blitzmax. This is my first game creation ever and I'm hoping to get some constructive criticism.

I was inspired by sudoku and chain factor. The tutorial in the game is missing so heres how to play: Use the mouse to move the blocks, right click to rotate the blocks and left click to place them down. The blocks have numbers, when the number matches either the size within the smaller box, the row, or the column it disappears. The gray blocks become white blocks which in turn becomes numbers by destroying blocks adjacent to it. Its rather difficult to explain the game, but very easy to play.



Do you think a game like this will sell? or if anyone will want to play it? Because I'm a total noob in this market, so a little advice would be very nice. I'm planning to learn blitzmax and redo the game in it.

03-06-2008, 10:51 AM
You got antialiased stuff mixed with aliased stuff. Looks a bit inconsistent.

>Do you think a game like this will sell?

It's a bit too simple perhaps, but I don't really have a clue about that kind of audience. It might sell a bit, but eventually it would yield more money as web game.

Well, give it a shot for the experience anyways. If it doesn't work out, you'll still have learned quite a bit and you'll still be able to re-release it as web game a bit later (if you feel like doing so).

What I found a bit odd is the chubbiness of the digits. Reading bold stuff is usually slower; a player might perform better with less fat ones. That's really something you should take a closer look at, since this is the kind of annoying friction one should avoid at all costs.

03-06-2008, 11:20 AM
Haven't played it because I'm not too interested in the these type of games, but I'll comment on the screenshots: Your color scheme is good, and I like the fonts, but you should get rid of the pixelated edges and add a little more depth/detail to things--almost all of the interface elements are a solid color. Even something simple like subtle gradients would help, or if you want to get fancy, make things "pop" a little (http://iris-design.info/photoshop/web-20-style-buttons/) and/or add watermarks to the backgrounds of dialogs. (Partial transparency could also be an option).

03-06-2008, 12:19 PM
- Tutorial button just took me to your web page.
- The background seems very boring to me. Needs something to spice it up.
- When you move the cursor over the menu on the right, it just puts the items you are placing behind the menu. I - would make it dissapear while on the right side.
- Need to have some in-game tutorial occuring as you play the first time. Something to give you advice and get you going. I never understood how the game was played.
- No exit button to get out of the game besides closing it or pressing esc.
- I would suggest you change the colors of the blocks every level, so people can say, "Hey I got to the green level."
- To sell on the portals, it will need better tutorials, and effects. Thinks like sliding, particles, and stuff like that.

You will be able to get this up and running very quickly in BlitzMax. I would recommend getting Grey Alien's Framework as well, since he can make alot of what you need to do for the portals, very easy to accomplish.

Good luck.

03-07-2008, 03:16 AM
Your colours are very cold. Try using more reds, oranges, yellows to make it a bit more comfortable.

03-20-2008, 06:00 PM
I like the name. Seriously, that's the main reason why I downloaded it, though methinks your average consumer may not be so easily swayed by a math-centric title such as 'Factoral Blocks'. I like the website too. Haven't played it yet, I'll put up my feedback once I do.

BTW, why are you rewriting it in BlitzMax? The only reason I can think of is for cross-platform support. If that's the case, why not just release the windows-only GM version, see how it sells, and then add the cross platform support later? I'm working on a commercial GM game myself, and I'm hoping it can stand on it's own as a windows downloadable. I sure hope games developed in GM don't have some hidden evil that makes them unsalable.

03-27-2008, 07:07 AM
I agree:

that the name is great for attracting math puzzle solving audience
that games like this need an interactive tutorial to teach people how to play them (although I did figure some of it out based on your description)
that this game and your website both look very sharp and clean

One question I still have, is about how tiles are removed. Say I place a tile to change a section of the board as follows:
33- => 331
--- => -45
--- => ---
What is the result? Do all of the tiles go? 1st there are 5 so the 5 goes, 2nd there are 4 so the 4 goes, 3rd there are 3 so the 3s go, and finaly the 1 is left alone so it goes. Or do the 3s go first because they are lower than 5, or because they are filling a row instead of a board section? I'm not sure you'd even want to address this kind of question in a tutorial unless there is an answer that is easy to understand and predict.

I think this question gets at my main concern over this game selling well. I don't play a ton of suduko, but it seems like the challenge is deducing where numbers go based on the sums of surrounding columns, rows, and sections. In your game you're turning this around, you place numbers to influence these sums. This would be too easy to do one number at a time, so your game requires the player to drop three numbers at a time. This means that the game is less about solving puzzles with correct answers, and more about dropping tiles in good enough positions to survive to the next level. I wrote a poker-matching-solitare game that had this kind of feel once. Really strategizing about moves basically degenerated into brute force chekcing for all possible moves. In the end this wasn't as fun as I had hoped.

I don't want this to sound like I'm down on your game, because I find it very interesting and am glad to have played it: as much for it's problems as the concept. All of the solutions I can think of for this problem end up being quite different games... one of which I might try putting together a prototype of this afternoon. I'll post an update if/when I get to that.

Finally, I'd also be curious to hear why you're planning on rewriting this game in BlitzMax? That seems like a lot of work, and I'm not sure what the payoff would be. If you don't rewrite it, I did find it annoying that I couldn't shut the game down by closing the window (the red x button was visible, but apparently disabled).

Keep up the good work. I look forward to playing your future games.

Spore Man
03-27-2008, 12:39 PM
Cool concept, but will appeal to a very "brainy" niche.

The look needs a complete overhaul, but then I'm assuming its just prototype placeholder art.

03-31-2008, 04:06 PM
Here's the idea I posted about earlier: Alluvial Sets (http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?t=13230). I think this game contrasts your own in some interesting ways: 1) The levels have a clear structural goal, so each level is a fresh start that presents some very novel challenges. 2) The puzzles are much less forgiving, in that a wrong move or two means you need to restart the puzzle. I like that your game is more forgiving, but that also seems to make the pacing a bit more difficult. After a level or two, I get a new fresh start which makes me think, ok now I have to do this again (but for longer, or with less time).

From all of this, I think my suggestion is to have certain tiles that you clear to gain points. As you clear them, maybe new rows of random tiles that must be cleared could be added. I just replayed your game to try a few different modes, but didn't see any that were like this. I didn't completely understand block or puzzle modes...

Anyway, best.