The graphics are gorgeous! Downloading now.
It's my pleasure to present Arcade Lab's new game, Legend of Aladdin, an adventurous match-3 game based on an exotic theme.
Check it out and see how you like some of the new fresh features to a well-tried genre:
* A dynamic pocket to keep your powerups in, which you can bring along from one level to another
* Buy and sell items from the shrewd local storekeeper in town. Actually... even though it's not important for the gameplay itself, it quite fun to sell and buy stuff from the storekeeper at different times since prices vary from day to day (level to level).
* Hollow tiles that blocks the grid until you make matches of the same kind
* Magic potions to slide away icons and tiles to hard-to-reach areas
Another important thing for us was to give this game a nice flow with a multi-tasking kind of gameplay.
You can swap and make moves even though icons are falling and scoring combos at another part of the screen!
Trial versions are available at the official game site:
http://www.legendofaladdin.com (as well as http://www.arcadelab.com)
Screenshot 1: http://www.arcadelab.net/img/screen_...faladdin_1.jpg
Screenshot 2: http://www.arcadelab.net/img/screen_...faladdin_2.jpg
Screenshot 3: http://www.arcadelab.net/img/screen_...faladdin_3.jpg
Screenshot 3: http://www.arcadelab.net/img/screen_...faladdin_4.jpg
I appreciate all kinds of feedback! Criticism as well as praise!
The graphics are gorgeous! Downloading now.
I just tried it. Overall, I like it (and the graphics are even better in action ) It has great atmosphere, smooth controls, and basically it's a lovely piece of work. But... There are way too many automatic matches taking place as the pieces drop. WAY too many.
I love that aspect, it's fun!Originally Posted by Ricardo C
Retro64 Computer Games
it's visually pleasing, but it makes me feel as though I'm only doing half the work and strategy means nothing.
I like it. I particularly like the sound fx and music. Both are appropriate and very easy to listen to.
The only thing I'm not so sure about is the pulsating objects. When I focussed on them, they made me feel a touch woozy. But then, I'm not feeling well today so I'm probably not in a good position to judge.
I would have liked a good gem sparkle and I think the main intro screen would look even better (looks good already), with the odd flash of sparkly gold dust - or whatever. Just some pretty particle fx to give it that little bit extra jazz. Maybe a magic carpet could fly by or somethingâ€¦
I did like the small download, but would be prepared to wait a little longer for a few more particles/anim frames.
Overall, my experience was a happy one and I thought it played very well.
Well done and good luck with it!
I've already mentioned the "slide one tile, wait for 300 combos to execute" issue, and the fact that there is no hint to the player that you can make another match while combos are in progress, and also the fact that you can easily get "stuck" in one of the pockets with no possible matches nearby and no bonus to help, but besides that, excellent game and impressively small download / system requirements! Godspeed and may it be on Real's top five for as long as Bricks of Atlantis.
As I said to you guys directly before, I love the graphics and think it will be a big hit. (I removed my joke.. seemed too extreme in retrospect)
Last edited by svero; 12-01-2005 at 06:28 PM.
If your point is that, then you should nag about every single game on Earth. A bit difficult to do.Originally posted by Savant
I liked this game better when it was called Big Kahuna Reef.
Anyway, another great game doomed to success.. congrats ArcadeLab!
Thanks for the feedback, everyone!
Re: Automatic matches/combos
This was a strategic move to give the game a low entry point. The casual gamer loves an easy and rewarding gameplay, especially when they're making their initial judgement on the game.
You'll only see this behaviour at the first couple of levels though.
Also, like Mike is saying, I think it's a matter of personal taste.
My fiancé seems to love games with a "make one click, get ten combos" style of gameplay.
David De Candia:
Glad to hear you appriciated the sounds.
I actually put a softfilter on the matching sound to make it soft and cozy to listen to. There is nothing worse than a game with harsh sounds... wrong volumes, equalizings and choice of sound can really put a player off.
Great idea there with the sparkly gold dust on the title screen. Even though it's not important for the gameplay, it would certainly add a nice touch! I'll definitely write that down in case we decide to release a new version later on by any reason.
Last edited by Daniel; 12-01-2005 at 07:29 AM.
Nicely Done! I'm very impressed by the look & feel, sights & sounds of the whole game.
A few comments:
1) During a couple of levels, I spent about half the time completing 90% of the board, then half the times completing the last 10% of the board. Even with the ability to slide rows and purchances helper-items, I still found my self just making sets until the items appeard in the right order so I could knock-off that last 1-2 tiles. It did get a touch boring. Have you thought about allowing a row to be rotated "full-circle" not just 2 tiles to the left or right as you can now?
2) In a post above, you mentioned that "harsh sounds" are something you sought to avoid. I agree with you 100% and think you've done an excellent job in that area, but the sound made when a piece "fills-up" and become available for play, like a hammer against some type of metal, is very jaring and quite annoying.
3) It seems the game is done completly in 2D (no 2D-via-3D), but everything looks so good and the animation and effects so smooth and smartly done that one would not notice (or care), except for the light, almost white, colored text that appears during the level summary pop-up and 1 or 2 other places. This font looks corse and out of place amongst all the smooth looking graphics: almost like a place-holder font someone forgot to replace.
Other than the above, the game is great!
Also, was the demo time 60min or 30min? It went so fast I glanced at the clock and thought either the demo time was only 30min, or I was enjoying play so much I lost track of the time. With the latter being totally possible!
Wow. This game looks like anther hit. I am amazed at Arcade Lab’s ability to create so many great looking games so quickly. Bricks of Atlantis is still at the top of the charts and I am sure this one will be there soon.
I especially liked the animated transitions and the way things slid and bounced onto the screen. Often this type of stuff appeals to many players but annoys me because I feel like it is slowing me down. You managed to make it look slick and flashy but still move at a fast enough pace that it didn’t get in my may. It looks nice.
I like your ideas for new power-ups and new types of locks. I didn’t play for long, but I got the impression that there were be something new to keep me busy and I wouldn’t feel like I was playing that same match 3 game I already played a dozen times.
I am surprised you didn’t make the pieces “flow” the way they do in Big Kahuna Reef. Your locks only block a single column. In BKR I really love breaking open a lock in a bottleneck and watching the pieces pour in like the sands of an hour glass. It is very satisfying to unlock a new chamber of the board in BKR. In Legend of Aladdin you have multi-chamber board like BKR, but they don’t seem to get unlocked and filled up is a dramatic and rewarding way. I would love to hear the reasoning behind this decision. Was it just something you didn’t find important? Or were there technical problems it presented? Or did you dislike that aspect of BKR? Or were you trying to NOT barrow too heavily from BKR?
I found it difficult to see which tiles have been completed. This is actually a complaint I have of BKR as well. If I could change one thing in BKR, I would make the completed tiles easier to distinguish from the uncompleted tiles. I think Legend of Aladdin is just as bad a BKR in this respect.
My biggest complaint about Legend of Aladdin is the controls. For player’s who like to click on each piece to swap them, they are fine. But for speed player who like to drag, there is much room for improvement. I am surprised how many games screw this up. Bejeweled does it perfectly but Jewel Quest and Bewitched are screwed it up as bad as Legend of Aladdin. I believe the pieces should swap as soon as I have dragged them the distance of half a tile. Legend of Aladdin doesn’t swap a piece until let go of the mouse. And if I let go too early or late they won’t swap. Example:
- I click and hold on a piece, drag 60 pixels to the right and let go and nothing happens! Don’t you think I probably wanted to move it to the right and swap it with the piece on the right? The problem is 60 pixels was too far and my mouse was now 2 tiles away from the piece I was dragging rather than just 1 tile.
- So I try again. I click and hold on a piece, move my mouse exactly 35 pixels to the right (the width of a tile) and let go. Nothing happens again! This time the problem was that the piece I tried to drag was already selected (from my previous failed drag) so when I tried to drag it a second time it get DE-selected rather than selected. This could be avoided if a failed drag would deselect the tile.
- So I try one more time. I click and hold on a piece, drag 30 pixels to the right and let go and nothing happens! The problem is 30 pixels can be far enough in same cases, but in this case my original click was on the left edge of the tile, so moving 30 pixels to the right wasn’t far enough to get my cursor out of the tile.
- Forget about dragging, let’s just try clicking on each tile. I click on one tile and it swaps before I click on the next tile! This time my click was right on the border between two tiles and while I was clicking the mouse moved 3 pixels. The game though this was a 3 pixel drag and swapped since those 3 pieces crossed a tile boundary
The most important part is that I think swaps should occur when the mouse is moved while being help down rather than waiting for the mouse to be released. But independent of that, I also think the swaps should be based on the distance the mouse moved not which tile the cursor is in. Obviously the need to see which tile the cursor is in when the mouse goes down, but the mouse up (or drag) should not care which tile the cursor is in and should instead look at the distance traveled. Very small movements should not cause a swap. And very long movements should cause a swap in the direction of the movement no matter what tile the mouse was moved to.
This complaint about the controls may seem nitpicky and many players would never notice the problems. But I think something as important as the controls deserves a lot of attention to detail. But then again, Jewel Quest managed to do extremely well even though I think the drag controls are broken in the same ways listed here. So take it with a grain of salt.
Final complained: Alt-F4 doesn’t work.
But overall it looks great. I am sure it will do well. Congratulates on a job well done.
Not hard to tell you've been fiddeling a lot with all the details in match-3 controls, James.
(No wonder why BKR had such a great control scheme)
Actually, the mark-n-drag contols without the need of having to release the mouse button was there at first in Legend of Aladdin too, but was removed once the magic potion / slide-mode was added.
The reason is, once you're about to make a magic slide, you typically mark a row by clicking and holding the mouse button, sliding the row back and forth to your left and right to see how it affects the grid, then release it once you've decided which way to go.
To auto-confirm a move in this mode wouldn't be very fair on the player, and it would have been even more confusing if the swap mode did auto-confirm while the slide mode didn't.
Though, as you're saying, speed players like yourselves might appreciate if the current mark-drag-and-release controls would measure the current mouse movement in pixels rather than what highlighted tile the mouse is currently pointing on. I'm definitely going to give it a try!
Also, this would actually hinder problem #2, #,3 and #4 from appearing.
I guess the best way to handle this is to measure the distance between the spot where the initial mouse click took place and the spot where it was released. If the distance is more than a half tile ( 36 / 2 = 18 ) make it a move. If both the X and Y axis exceeds 18, chose the value that differs most from the initial spot.
Yes, the game runs in a true 2D mode to obtain optimal compatibilty, where all 3d-card like effects are pre-rendered to save cpu power and video render time.
Actually, I ran the game on an old Pentium 233 with a 4mb Nvidia Riva 128 last weekend, and it ran at full frame rate!! (250 fps internal rendering, 60 hz screen update). And I know earlier games based on our engine ran full frame rate on a P75 with a Matrox Mystique card!
The disadvantage is of course the problem you mention, where the fake anti-alias will show on certain background colors. Though I think you'll only be able to see this at a few not so important places in this game.... the summary screen would be one!
The big advantage is that the game will run on virtually any PC on this earth!
Regarding harsh sounds, I meant the sounds you're hearing all the time, like the mark sound, swap sound, combo sound, etc.
This doesn't stop me from adding some hollywood like glass explosions with a scoop of LFE packed into it when something extra is happening!
Though, it did annoy you in this case... I hope this isn't the case with most ppl! The truth is, I don't want to remove this little baby from the game....
Great looking game Daniel...
As a side note, I wanted to thank James for his support in the community. Its really nice to see constructive comments for improvement of a game that is so close to their own - shows that there is no need for keeping secrets and benefiting other developers won't affect our own sales.
This game is so great! and made by fellow swedes!
I think the best thing is the music!
Spell of Play Studios