ANN: SmartMelon announces Peepers 1.0, a Relaxing New Video Game

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by SmartMelon, Aug 9, 2004.

  1. SmartMelon

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    (August, 2004) - SmartMelon Games announces the availability of Peepers, a new computer game for Windows 98/ME/2000/XP designed to relax you.

    After a tough day at work, at school, or taking care of your kids, you need a chance to unwind. Enter the world of Peepers where you can sit back, watch the fireflies meander through the night sky, listen to the gentle brook, and relax. Peepers is a refreshingly original puzzle game based around a group of frogs who are meeting under the old willow tree for a concert tonight. But the frogs are trapped in their ponds and you must help them escape by jumping on lily pads around the pond. The only trick is that the frogs' momentum makes the lily pads float to a new position when they jump from pad to pad.

    Designed for the whole family, Peepers features an intuitive interface and easy to learn rules even young children can understand, while providing a challenge even to the most astute adults. Containing 100 levels and 10 challenging bonus levels, Peepers is guaranteed to give you hours and hours on enjoyment. Peepers features beautiful 65000-color imagery, real relaxing guitar music, adjustable brook and peeper sounds, and free online hints and solutions. Available on Windows 98, ME, 2000, and XP, Peepers will run on any computer with a Pentium 150 and 16 MB of RAM or better. Download a 7 level, free trial version of Peepers from our website at http://www.smartmelon.com/.

    Peepers is available now for $19.95 US and may be ordered through our website at http://www.smartmelon.com/. For more information, contact SmartMelon at 22 MacMillan Cres., Charlottetown, PEI, Canada, C1A 8G2, or via e-mail at contact@smartmelon.com.

    Graeme Sweet
     
  2. robleong

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    I thoroughly enjoyed the game! However, I didn't enjoy having to re-do a level just because I had used the undo button - why? It's a game, not a lesson that one has to learn without making a mistake!
     
  3. SmartMelon

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    That you Wayward and robleong for your kind words and comments. Most of the animations in the game are short - around a second. The idea of the game is to slow down and relax a little :). The only long animation is the hoping melon company logo, and can be skipped with the Esc key. We added a slider in the options menu to speed up the frog hop speed. Adding Ctrl+Z as a shortcut key is a great idea - why didn't we think of that? It will be added in the next update.

    About the undo functionality, when we were designing the game, we were worried about people becoming too dependant on the undo. We thought they could us the undo to just search all possible combinations without actually thinking about the level - that's why we designed it like we did. In retrospect, it's a little harder to use undo like this, so we may convert it into a simple, unlimited undo in the future (with no restart required).

    Thanks again for your comments. Already had our first sale come in, and hopefully there will be more in the future. Cheers!

    Graeme
     
  4. GameStudioD

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    Implementing Ctrl+Z is a great idea.

    Overall, this is a great game and it will do well. I wish there were more like it. I checked out your website and it is nice, clean and professional looking. Keep up the good work.
     
  5. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    It's a nice game. I like the relaxing music and feel. The art is not fantastic but it's pretty solid and I think good enough to carry the game. The puzzles themselves are not uninteresting but it's not entirely clear whether there is much variety waiting for me as I play more or whether the levels will be just more of the same with the latter being worse.

    A few constructive criticisms... I have more but these are the things that stand out for me...

    1) The in game sell is terrible. You have this big page of text that tells you there are 110 levels, but when you're playing the menus don't really give you a good idea of that. I got to the 2nd level of demo screens and clicked level 20 to see if the puzzles changed much. It told me the level wasnt available in the demo and so I got the impression the game had only 20 levels! Very bad for business that. A lot of people wont read the text on your buy/upsell screen so I'd say you want to try and make the full vs limited game more obvious as people play.

    2) Its hard to tell what frog is selected when you have multiple frogs. that can be confusing at first because you get use to moving by selecting pads

    3) You have instructions but they are apart from the game and not in context. It's not obvious that pads float 1 square at first. Some in game tips on the first few levels or very limited first levels that just act as demos for how the game plays (even more so than what you have) would be preferable imho.

    I donno how well it will sell. My experience with logic games is that they're pretty hit n miss sales wise. Good luck with it though.
     
  6. SmartMelon

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    Thank you very much for your comments, svero - they are much appreciated. I think you're right that we have to convince people that there are more interesting levels waiting for them in the full version. Some games let you see all the levels in the full version, but not play them. This might be a good thing for us to add in the future, but it's a little tricky because of our level system where you have to finish 7 out of 10 levels before advancing to the next 10 levels. We mention a number of places in the game that there are over 100 levels, so we're hoping most people will figure it out. We'll look at making the frog selection clearer in the future, and adding some in-game tips to the first level is a great idea. You're also right that we should mention that you only hop one square at a time since this might not be clear to everyone. Thanks again for your message!

    Graeme
     
  7. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    The only reason I found it was because I was looking for it. So I don't think they will see it the way it's set up now.

    Currently you rely heavily on text in your upsell. Maybe just focus more on screenshots showing elements you dont see in the demo as a tease. You could label them. Level 88 or whatever... That would indicate higher level numbers. It's not perfect, but I think it's an improvement and not all that hard to implement.
     
  8. SmartMelon

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    The fact that there are over 100 levels is displayed in the opening buy now screen, every time that they finish a level, when they finish all available levels in the demo, and when they view the exiting buy now screen. There is already a screen capture of Level 30 on the opening and exiting buy now screens, but it doesn't have a label beside it. Maybe we should add some alternating screen captures and put labels on them. Thanks for the suggestions. Cheers!

    Graeme
     

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