Beetle Bomp : Beta + Screenshots

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by svero, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. tolik

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    My head hasn't clicked in Zuma so I'm one of those loosers who was able to reach 5-1 in Luxor loosing 1 life and 7-1 losing 2 lifes and then it got boring.
    I haven't completed Zuma, though.

    I've also experienced contraction problem described by Ryan.
     
  2. Matt Parry

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    My 2 cents:

    The game's presentation is very nice, and I think it stands up well against its competition. I really like the beetles - both the concept (bugs are cooler than balls!) and the execution... their colours are well-chosen and I love the simple walking animation!

    Having played the demos for both Zuma and Luxor (though not considering myself an expert in the genre!) I would definitely consider buying your game.

    However, I would echo what others have said about the game getting too hard too soon. I was able to make it to "Bones" without losing a life (but coming close a few times) but at this point I hit a brick wall and became a bit frustrated. As I said, I'm no expert in such games, but I have some experience with them and I'm a lifelong gamer - so I think many casual gamers may be put off by the current difficulty.

    Part of my frustration stemmed from the way the line seems to contract very seldom for me - I'm not sure if this is because of something I'm not doing properly, or if you deliberately designed the game to be different in this way, but once I was near "Infestation" I felt as though I couldn't recover (at least in the "Bones" area, since the end of the line is protected by a closer loop of beetles)... I'd make several matches in a row and the lack of contraction meant I could never get ahead. Hehe... maybe I just need better skills!

    The difficulty issue aside, very fine work - if you adjust the difficulty/ramp it up more gradually, you'll likely have some of my hard-earned cash! :)
     
  3. Ricardo C

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    The game seemed too easy at first, but the challenge grew quite nicely in Stage 2. Not impossible, just a very satisfying challenge. Like Bmc, I found the nick-of-time saves via powerups to be very exciting. Nicely done :)

    I didn't run into any bugs that I could see, and gameplay was very smooth on my aging system (Athlon 1.4, 256MB RAM, 32MB GeForce 2MX card)

    The graphics are perfect as is. The only thing I didn't like about them was the title screen. Very sparsely composed, and the "main bug" looks dull. The pre-game screens weren't that hot, either. But the in-game graphics are absolutely top notch, surpassing even Zuma's, and certainly blowing Luxor's out of the water.

    The music, while much more enjoyable than the overblown Luxor soundtrack, lacks the catchiness and replay value of the Zuma theme song, which I never get tired of, regardless of how long my playing session is.

    Overall, a fantastic take on the genre, and a game I'm so far enjoying almost as much as Zuma, and certainly more than Luxor. I think you have a big winner in your hands :)
     
  4. BongPig

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    Ok, im not much of a casual action player, and like a few people have said, I found it a bit hard. I felt the difference between level 1,2 & 3 wasnt gradual enough. If the game continues to ramp up at that rate, level 10 will kill me! .. but then, im probably not your target audience.

    The in-game graphics are really nice. Everything was clear and appealing. I had no confused moments at all, which is unusal for me as I dive into games without considering what im supposed to be doing first.

    But I must say, the title page simply does not do the rest of the game justice. Everything else feels polished and pretty spot on, but the front page doesnt give me the same vibe at all. Its not *that* bad on its own, but compared to the rest of the excellent in-game graphics, its pretty poor.
    Why not create a special background, like the ones in game, with a beetle path, especially designed for the front page. Chuck the logo at the top, that would look pretty good, and much more inviting. A few insects flying around if you leave it sitting there long enough.

    Overall, pretty bloody good, although I havent played much of Zuma etc, so cant comment on what your game adds to the genre.
     
  5. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I just played for about a half hour or so and here are my comments:

    First of all, I have played and do like Zuma, Zzed, and Luxor.

    With that being said here are the things I liked:
    - Nice theme and I like the shiny bugs and balls
    - I like the All Bugs Out light... nice touch
    - I like trying to catch all the gems

    Here are some things that I didn't like:
    - The bug death sound is too shrill
    - There's not enough feeling of threat when the bugs start reaching the exit
    - Towards the end I still get colors that aren't in play anymore
    - I like the "second chance" where it pulled the last few bugs out of the exit, but it didn't last long enough... maybe this wasn't really a second chance but just a coincidence.

    Overall I really like the game... especially the theme. If Luxor wasn't explicitly compared Beetle Bomp on these forums I wouldn't have even noticed any similarity (other than both of them obviously being zuma/puzzloop clones)
     
  6. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Ill just make a few general comments...

    1) This build has a bug in it where some effects arent showing up :-( -- For isntance the fireballs are suppose to burn and the bomb explode nicely and none of that shows up. The reason is becuase in windows I can use /'s in my paths but when I prepared the installed I packed all the files into one big data file and the code that reads them from the big data file cant handle the slashes. That'll be fixed today.

    @emulynx : the fireballs and explosion effects are broken in this version. See above. I'll probabl address all the rest of the comments next week.

    @3ben - total of 59 levels but with some repeats as the rounds progress. Unique levels is currently at 29 although im serious considering adding 5-9 more levels. One more level will be for a big boss at game finale. A queen bug in the nest. The rest to remove some of the repeat earlier in the game so as not to fool people into thinking there arent many levels. It's slightly confusing because of the way the rounds play out.

    @ryan - contraction is slightly differnt than zuma. Its based on adding balls to the path, so explosions wont contract as they're not really a "combo". I'll consider changing it although im not sure i should except for the fact that players might expect the game to work like the other games.

    @ricardo c - No bugs? That is a problem.. I'll have to look into that. (sorry couldnt resist)

    Thanks to everyone who commented. Hopefully just about everything that people are complaining about will be addressed in one way or another before I release.
     
  7. Martoon

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    If you're still interested in adding skill levels, but don't want to mess up your game balance/tweaking, you might want to consider this.

    Regarding texture memory consumption (and trying to fit in 16MB), have you tried palletizing any of your textures to 8-bit? People are often surprised how many textures you can do this to without a visible difference, and it cuts the mem size down by 75%. Of course, if you're auto-packing images onto texture surfaces, it'll complicate things a little, since you'll want to prioritize packing similar colored images together when palletizing.

    Haven't tried your beta, but the screens look amazing.
     
  8. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well.. for skill levels I was thinking easy, medium, and hard where the differnce is exactly the speed of the lines. So I'd do something like...

    easy --> speed = speed *.75
    normal --> just use my tweaked speeds
    hard --> speed = speed *1.25

    - S
     
  9. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    IN fact.. reading this thread has pretty much convinced me I need skill levels. Just in this thread there are people that finished the whole beta in less than an hr and others that cant get past the 3rd level. So unless i adust the diffculty on the fly (something i may do) then I cant really hope to please everyone without allowing different skill levels. I'll start another thread on this.. since I think its of general interest.
     
  10. ManuelFLara

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    I've been playing it for half an hour or so and as a Zuma/Luxor player I have to say it's great. While trying the game I didn't feel like playing a Zuma clone due to the theme differences, but it was a familiar gameplay. Luxor is just Zuma in Egypt, althought it's good too.

    Issues I've found, they have been mostly said already:
    1) The contraction differences from Zuma, one of the things that annoyed me.
    2) Giving me poison colors that are not present in screen. What I do want them for?
    3) Giving me only multi-color poison in the end. Too easy.
    4) I personally prefer having two balls and switch them right-clicking than discard one and get a new one.
    5) The "you're going to lose because bugs are approaching the goal" sound is played when the bugs are too close to the goal, I think.
    6) Are powerups from gems randomly chosen? I'd prefer knowing what I'm going to get before picking the gem. Also, when I get a powerup there's no special sound played and sometimes I don't know I'm about to throw a powerup instead of a posion ball.
     
  11. svero

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    >The contraction differences from Zuma, one of the things that annoyed me.
    > I personally prefer having two balls and switch them right-clicking than
    > discard one and get a new one.

    Hmm.. With stuff like this it's hard to say. Im pretty confident these are only issues in the sense that some people have a pre-conceived expectation of how the rules of the game should play having previously played zuma and luxor etc..., and that once they've played the new game a bit it won't matter. It kind of sucks writing anything thats clone-like because as soon as you tweak the gameplay a little there's a knee jerk reaction.. hey this isnt like tetris! or whatever, so you're almost forced to copy the minutae of the other game to meet these expectations, which is kind of dull. Remind me never to make a game like this again :)

    > Are powerups from gems randomly chosen? I'd prefer knowing what I'm
    >going to get before picking the gem. Also, when I get a powerup there's no
    >special sound played and sometimes I don't know I'm about to throw a
    >powerup instead of a posion ball.

    Yes well.. perhaps I can change it so that particular gems always resolve to a particular bonus. I'd have to add more gems though or at the very least color them differently using the vertex colors. You'd have to learn what's what, but eventually you could figure it out.
     
  12. Dominique Biesmans

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    Texture bleeding

    I have only played for about 10 minutes so far, so i am not going to comment on the game play, [and I haven't read all the comments] but I've noticed a graphic glitch of some textures 'spilling over' or bleeding. 'bbomp1.jpg' shows the title with little black edges around the letters, and 'bbomp2.jpg' shows the options dialog with a green edge spilling below. Most dialogs, edit boxes, etc.. have this problem.
     

    Attached Files:

    #52 Dominique Biesmans, Mar 30, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2005
  13. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Hmm.. Anyone have any idea what might cause this? I've never seen it before. There is a green color key around the options dialog but it shouldnt show any of the color key. It doesn't on my card.

    What kind of video card do you have? Are you using the latest drivers?
     
  14. Dominique Biesmans

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    Well I have an ATI Radeon 8500, with catalyst drivers 6.14.10.6476, probably not the very latest.

    Could it be related to the type of texture filtering you're using? Texel centering?
     
  15. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Im using that directx8 sprite lib to do the 2d display. I dont use the primitive funcs directly.
     
  16. Sega

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    Here are a few minor issues I found immediately upon playing (I'll spend more quality time with the game tomorrow, as I have work to do tonight):

    1. On main menu, "WEB" button has no function (I'm sure you know of this, but just in case).
    2. On "Welcome to Beetle Bomp" screen, since there's a "next" button, there should be a "back" button, for going back to the main menu. It's not communicated to the player that Esc is the only way to get back to the main menu, and some may want to change profiles at this point.
    3. Before screen fade-in on level, the cursor and gun are fully visible for a moment, then dissappear, then fade in.
    4. Before screen fade-out on level, the screen begins the fade-out from a dim state (the score tally). However, the cursor and gun are fully visible for a moment, then pop into a dim state, then fade out.

    Here are things I liked:
    1. The bonus catch at the end is a good idea.
    2. The flying bugs are great. They sometimes made me send a panic shot (when they flew fast), and there was a risk to where I could hit the bug and get the points, or throw a random color up into the mix.
    3. I love the powerups, if they are gem type dependent instead of random.

    I'll get back to you later on deeper issues, when I can spend quality time with it.


    Dave Freeman
    Humanahaba
     
  17. tolik

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    I've engaged PNG optimization test and the results are:
    Original: 5,430,913 bytes in 125 files
    Optimized: 5,066,285 bytes in 125 files

    No quality loss, it's just bruteforce repacking with all possible parameters for every PNG.

    Then, some more deep investigation. You have at least 10 PNG files like "ROUND X", "5000 POINTS", "WELCOME TO BEETLE BOMP", "NO MORE LEVELS". Plus, you have all that stuff in JPG TOO!
    So it's at least 1,254,583 bytes duplicated in 10 files.
    So check if it's worth to remove duplicated files or extract the board underneath and make couple of overlays and write other stuff with fonts (and not hardcode it - imagine the problems you'll experience with any kinds of localization).
    Plus I've found that smallest PNG file has the board and is compressed as 8 bit! It's really small, but still bigger than JPGs.

    Then, for some reason you are also including parts of levels as JPG and as PNG too. Two of the biggest PNGs in your archive are duplicated by JPGs and the difference is like 183Kb to 20Kb.

    Then I also had an idea about making all the spittable balls with death sign on it palletized. You'll have 2 of them - one with black death and one with white death. Then you'll just apply different colored palletes like purple, blue, white, black and other colors for black ones. That should save another ~meg.

    And as I said before - by compressing all the backgrounds with higher compression you could save up to 50%! And that's another meg.

    In total, I've counted at least 3 megs of possible saving.


    I guess that's it for research :)
     
  18. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Well i ran all the files through a batch compression utility and then replaced the files I felt looked bad with full quality. The jpg's got added by mistake by the batch program. Ill have a closer look at the final install files before i do a pre-release version. I could do better if i compressed image by image carefully, but it's very time consuming.
     
  19. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    New file uploaded

    I uploaded a new file that addresses the missing particle effects and explosions problem. If you want to try it it's the same URL.

    - Steve
     
  20. Raptisoft

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    Svero, this is caused by the way some cards do linear filtering. Certain cards don't colorkey-- they simulate colorkey by doing an alpha texture. When that texture gets rendered, the bilinear filtering will blend in some of the 0 alpha pixels to keep it smooth.

    I don't know how to solve this with colorkey, but the way to solve it if you're using alpha is to make sure the RGB of the transparent pixels matches the rgb of nearby pixels. It can be a bitch and a half to chase down some of these.

    If you're not doing any stretching or rotating, and aren't worried about pixellation, you can just turn bilinear filtering off.
     

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