Angry Interns - WIP

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Duilen, May 3, 2011.

  1. Duilen

    Duilen New Member

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    Angry Interns: the pursuit of cake
    Google Chrome Download
    Blog

    [​IMG]



    I'm starting development on Google Chrome using HTML5/CSS3/JS for a few reasons but mostly because it's what I'm familiar with so it allows me to quickly make changes and iterate. Once the game stabilizes I'll probably port it to Flash, iOS and Android...assuming I can get at least ~5k downloads on the web version.

    You can see some of the basic mechanics in the video or the blog. I have upgraded the design since posting the video so it isn't quite as bleak.

    Here are some of the problem areas I'm running into:
    1) Design - I spent a few hours yesterday creating a new background and upgrading a few buttons. I just want to get this to a passable state and really focus on some of the other areas.

    2) Getting Started - I realize this is not exactly a traditional interface and I haven't gone through great depths to explain everything. Ideally, I want an interface that is easy to figure out without going through a guide but since I'm trying new things with the interface it can be very confusing. I need to balance the 2 extremes with better unobtrusive tips and definitely better visual queues when you trigger certain events.

    3) Sense of progression - I've thought about doing stages/levels where your office gets progressively more advanced as you progress through the game. That is a pretty dramatic change so I'll probably not go that route until the sequel. I am doing small things like displaying a set of icons next to your departments as you create new products, cake tech or marketing. I also have a green number flashing between turns to show how much you gained for the last day.(needs to be bigger) If I could get ideas on small things I could add to give a stronger sense of progression that would be great.

    4) Events - Right now when a new event happens it is displayed as text in the tips section. This is terrible. As you play you very quickly become blind to that section. So even when new things are happening the whole thing still feels very monolithic. I was thinking about having an animation quickly popup over the office for the corresponding event. Maybe if you develop a new product there is a large image of a moving product with giant text saying "You just developed a new product worth $7 per day!". At the same time, these events/animations shouldn't take too long and block you from what you are doing, otherwise they will quickly get annoying.

    5) Theme - I received a lot of criticism for going with a cake theme. It seems that people are taking this as a rip off of Portal. Also, people aren't happy about the name being similar to Angry Birds. To be honest, I've never played Angry Birds before creating this game. I did love Portal and the use of cake in that game but that was only partial inspiration for the use of cake. We've also had this running joke at the office where people think they can buy me off by bringing me cake. Either way, I think the release of Portal 2 is somewhat unfortunate as it makes the cake reference suddenly seem very unoriginal. I'm considering pulling back from that theme slightly. Sequels will also probably not use the term 'Angry'. I'm already working on a game called Intern RPG.

    6) Hover Frustration - The hole concept for this game stemmed from an idea I had about using hover actions to sort a large number of items. I do think there is something to this concept but there are frustrations that I need to iron out. Any ideas?

    7) More Options - I want to make the game more strategic by offering more ways to generate revenue. At the same time, I don't want to make the game too complex to use. One simple idea is to add 2-3 upgrade options. Any ideas for interesting upgrades?

    As you can see, the game is still very much a work in progress. In total I think I've spent a little over 2 weeks working on it. I feel like there is a good game inside somewhere. I just need to keep iterating until it gets there.

    Thanks for any time you spend play testing and for your feedback!
     
    #1 Duilen, May 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2015
  2. CJX

    CJX New Member

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    I just played it. It was nice, but sorting your interns is really, really hard with your hover mechanic. I was struggling so much that it got in the way of learning the other mechanics of the game, and then I just gave up. The main problems were:

    1) Interns are too fast! I can't distribute them across rooms accurately. This problem is related to your hover mechanic - it takes much longer to "hover off" than "click/unclick" (which is what my reactions are used to having to time for), so it's hard to react fast enough to stop the flow when I want - especially when I have very few interns.

    2) Interns love the office too much! If I get too many interns in a room, and I want to move some back out again (this happens often because of #1) ALL carefully sorted interns try to return to the office, and I'm back at square one. Or, if I put interns in HR first, they all rush back to the office when I move over it in order to click "New Day". In the end, I resorted to using locked doors to keep them in their rooms, which meant my only tactic could be "add interns to the only unlocked room".

    3) Locks are too unforgiving! Only force locked doors when I click "New Day" - an accidental click can leave a room with far fewer interns than you want, and ruins the game.

    4) What is my deadline? I have no idea what it is or whether I am going to reach it. Also HR - what does it do? I have no idea.


    I would suggest killing the hover mechanic, and replacing it with a traditional click-and-hold one. It's a nice idea, but it's not intuitive - worse, it's anti-intuitive; it forces me to use strange mouse movements (carefully skirting rooms in order to click "New Day" for example) that are not part of the game. It doesn't allow me to sort things accurately, and therefore prevents me from playing properly.

    Once I've finished putting interns in a room, I'd like to be able to close the door (without incurring any other effect) to prevent them from returning to the office so I can continue sorting other rooms. Locked doors can have a lock graphic on them or something. People will use doors to do this anyway - you should work with them if you can.
     
  3. manimani

    manimani New Member

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    2) Nice look and feel, just needs more detail, like office objects or a changing background e.g when in crunch mode, the background changes to stacks of takeaway boxes, worried looking interns and the office clock set to 8pm at night.

    3) Train interns and convert to permanent staff. Don't like that they all just disappear, would be good if you could keep some of the good ones( maybe 1 in 10 ). Or some could come back when they finish uni.

    5) ignore this, your game is original.


    other ideas...

    I like the macro-management movement of the interns between rooms as oppose to micro-management.
    Would like the interns to be obstructed on their way to the new department.
    Say another department head orders them to their department and you have to click to get them back.


    - angry boss

    - "early fridays" interns disappearing early on a friday so that you try to get stuff done before then.

    - interns sleeping in the server room

    Done well to get this far, keep going :)
     
  4. Duilen

    Duilen New Member

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    @CJX

    Thanks for the feedback on the hover actions. I do agree that the game is unwieldy if you only use your mouse. I don't even use the mouse when I play.

    Here are the current available hotkeys:
    SHIFT - turns micromanagement mode on/off
    SPACE - new day
    C - closes doors for all rooms containing interns
    LEFT ARROW - Moves interns from office to HR
    UP ARROW - Moves interns from office to engineering
    RIGHT ARROW - Moves interns from office to marketing
    DOWN ARROW - Moves interns from all departments to office

    I'm definitely going to need to rethink hover actions but I'm not convinced clicks are the right way to go. I think I need to make the hover area smaller. Maybe I'll add a boss to each room and if you hover over the boss then interns flood into the room.
     
  5. Duilen

    Duilen New Member

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    @manimani

    Great feedback!

    2) I'm definitely going to be adding another layer of detail to the office design soon.

    3) I've considered having permanent employees but I have some performance concerns. If there are too many interns+employees in the office at once then animations will start slowing down and gameplay would become unresponsive and frustrating.

    I like the idea of introducing days of the week and 'early fridays'. Maybe I could let players decide if they want to force interns to work weekends or late at the expense of making them angry faster.
     
  6. MiladZarrin

    MiladZarrin New Member

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    I am so sorry for this amaterish question. But what is WIP and how can i play it?
     
  7. jcottier

    jcottier New Member

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    Wip: work in progress

    Jc
     
  8. CJX

    CJX New Member

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    BTW, played again recently; the tutorial / hovering over bosses makes the whole game a much more enjoyable experience. New graphics are nice, too.
     
  9. MiladZarrin

    MiladZarrin New Member

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    Thank you. I am so ashamed of my question :eek:
     

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