[Feedback] Jeweltopia <- soniCron's game

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by soniCron, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. soniCron

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    Well, the day has finally arrived! I've got a beta on my hard drive just waiting to get ripped to shreds! And without further ado, I introduce to you:

    Jeweltopia

    Aah, but before you run off ("Oh, jeeze. A friggin match three!"), I strongly urge you to check it out -- you may be surprised! :)

    It's a simple game: A board full of jeweled tiles that need to be removed. And how do you remove them, you ask? Why, by matching up three or more, of course! :) But here's the kicker: Be cautious of your actions, because every move you make unleashes a wave of additional tiles...and if you don't play smart, you'll find yourself under an avalanche of jewels!

    The Screenshots
    The Download

    What I Need to Know
    • Does it run?
    • Does it run well?
    • What do you think of the gameplay?
    • Is it too easy or too hard?
    • Did you enjoy yourself?

    What You Need to Know
    • You get a "Hold" bonus if you match more than 3 jewels
    • Every Hold gives you a free swap; ie. no jewels will come tumbling down
    • You've got 30 minutes of play time -- time isn't deducted on menus

    Now, the gameplay is under adjustment, and I'm fully aware of its sweeping variable of difficulty. What I'm really concerned about is: Did it work? It's extremely processor intensive, so much so that I worry that it won't run on anything but the fastest computers. Please let me know how it runs on your computer and how many MHz you've got under the hood.

    Known Issues
    • Tutorial is fragile. If it gets stuck, just quit the level and restart.
    • Game may get through logo by the time you can see the screen
    • Doesn't detect chains yet
    • Doesn't ask you if you want to load your saved game
    • Last backdrop isn't integrated
    • Only 2 in-game songs available right now
    • Tutorial doesn't mention "Hold" feature
    • Game is highly unbalanced -- with your help, this can be adjusted to an optimal level
    • Placeholder screenshots on sell screen
    • Inadequate win/lose screens
    • No app icon
    • Doesn't want to share Windows -- no task switching
    • Aliased fonts in gameplay
    • Generally in need of some polish
    • Medal legend doesn't show accurate point values (I think)

    Okay, let the gut wrenching criticisms ride! :)
     
    #1 soniCron, Feb 28, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  2. Andy

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    Anyone believe that Daniel has developed it by his own?
    I stay in strong believe that he've just purchased the code from somebody else - he is so busy in different forums... :D

    Congrats for good purchase Daniel! I'm downloading the game right now...
     
  3. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    >Does it run?

    yeah

    >Does it run well?
    Some bugs.. the hint about dying came up and stayed up

    >What do you think of the gameplay?
    Boy... lots of little things to suggest here but it will take some time since it's all detailed stuff. There's no particular general big problems I have with it. It's essentially pretty simple and fun. Most of my comments (the ones still in my head) are detail type stuff.

    >Is it too easy or too hard?
    Not sure...


    >Did you enjoy yourself?
    A little, although generally this sort of game isn't my thing. That being said I thought it was pretty well presented and seemed good to me for the kind of game it is.


    Now, the gameplay is under adjustment, and I'm fully aware of its sweeping variable of difficulty. What I'm really concerned about is: Did it work? It's extremely processor intensive, so much so that I worry that it won't run on anything but the fastest computers. Please let me know how it runs on your computer and how many MHz you've got under the hood.

    >Doesn't detect chains yet
    This sounds crucial

    >Generally in need of some polish
    Agreed but good so far. Has a nice colorful fun feel to it.

    Sorry but I dont have anything scathing to say really. I will comment more with details when I have a little time.

    - S
     
  4. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    I predict massive thread views.

    as for the game, It's not bad but I have to say I'm a little disappointed. I expected much more from you (based on some of your more recent posts).

    comments-
    1-levels are way too long (the one i played anyway)

    2-no windowed mode?

    3-being sent back to main screen when completing a level instead of just moving onto the next

    4-gameplay seems sort of slow at times because of the way blocks are eliminated

    5-goals are not clear enough, I had no idea how I was supposed to win the level, also have no idea what the deal with the happy face is.... well I know that the more matches you make the happier it gets but does it have a purpose?

    6-the backgrounds are screaming for animation

    7-i actually like the upbeat rock music but some of your intended audience may not and I don't recall seeing anyway to turn off the music/turn down the volume

    8-lack of rewards, for example: power gems which are pretty much common place in matching games now

    9-the big medal at the end of level screen is quite pixelated
     
  5. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I agree with the levels being too long comment. A small points since im posting...

    - There should be some kind of really big warning thing going on when your'e about to die. The tutorial has that glass box, but Id like something where the screen shakes and the top block wobbles and flashes with a big alarm sound of some kind. Perfect opportunity to add one of those "BIG" effects that people love.
     
  6. AnthemAudio

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    Yay! Tetris Attack! I fear my take on the game will be compared to Tetris Attack (of which I played endless hours :eek:) so my apologies firstmost.

    I only got to spend around ten minutes with it (I'll play more later) and a program I was running in the background crashed so I had to quit. But I'll give one suggestion. And this is the reason I kept coming back to Tetris Attack:

    Ok, I know it doesn't register "chains" and "combos" yet, but I would like to be able to set up moves while matched jewels are "popping". That is, the real skill in Tetris Attack was being able to think quickly and set up combos that took several well timed moves within the combo.

    Right now, the game makes you wait until they stop flashing and disappear before you can do anything. It just makes the game feel very "stop and go", and I think for a more action based puzzle like what you got going here should be more fluid and less wait and see.

    Certainly the people who want to play longer (therefore hopefully buying the game) will want more to master and I think being able to continue moving pieces to create bigger combos would do the trick.

    I'll play it another 20 minutes later on and see if it wins me over anyway.

    Other things? Looks good, sounds good, EXTRA BIG MENUS (nice), easy install, played well and smooth. I'm currently on a P4 2.4 with 512MB running WIN XP PRO with some nasty Intel onboard vid card.

    I do look forward to seeing this going FINAL. Good job!

    Tony
     
  7. Nexic

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    Daniel, really I didn't think you were going for a standard gem swapping package. I knew you would be going for something casual but I was really expecting something much different, and a little more original. But anyway, here are my comments:

    First of all, I suprised to see no theme at all? It feels a lot like Gamehouse titles from a few years ago, nice, big rounded graphics and no real theme. It is nicely presented, but I don't think it has a whole lot of personality.

    The next thing is that I don't think the game flows so well as other gem swapping titles. Can I only swap sideways? If that is the case I think the gameplay suffers for it. It felt really restricting and a little frustrating. As a result I found myself floundering a lot of the time, not really knowing what to do. I think vertical swaps would make the game better.

    When getting a match, you have to wait for a few seconds for the gems to pop away. It's quite annoying waiting for them to disappear, and I don't thing you get a good sense of reward. Beserker's Jewel of Atlantis did this really well with the explosions, it is instant rewards and the loud sounds and over the top visuals make it fun. The slow popping makes the game a little bland, and not very energetic.

    I think the smiley face is an okay idea, but I think there should only be one to apease. The reason being that I got my face all happy, then suddenly it went sad. At first I thought I had done something wrong, but actually I had done well by moving onto the next face. It's a little disconcerting. I think you could build a theme around this face, so instead of a generic smiley, how about a cute character with some personality? Maybe they could say things every so often?



    Now for some nitpicky stuff:

    All the text in the game is way too big. Big is good, but not this big. For example on the buy screen I couldn't read the text easily as it was so large.

    The hints can't be clicked away, which is rather odd. It's annoying to have them there obscuring your view, but having to wait until they disappear.

    Endless mode is in my opinion not a good name. Seems kind of pointless to play if it's endless. I'm not saying the mode itself is bad, just the name.

    As others said, levels are too long.


    Overall it's a good start and a few years ago would probably have kicked ass, but these days its a bit lacking. If you are going to go for match-3 then the only real way to make yourself stand out is to have a decent theme. I really couldn't see any match 3 game without such a theme doing well in the current market.

    This really isn't bad for a first shareware game. Have you seen my first game? Most who have preyed that they hadn't :)

    P.S Add a theme!
     
    #7 Nexic, Feb 28, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2006
  8. jankoM

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    you get very positive points from me for doing a lot of small things different. The music, the cartoon-style animations when things happen (go away, come on screen...), colors.... the type of swaping (inside stack and outside)..

    "25% off" if I buy in first 10 minutes is very nice idea, you give push to impuls buyers without loosing the others too soon.

    - I think there were some bugs or at least "features I didn't understant" in level 2 like blocks standing in air, two blocks in same place.
    - blocks dont look like jevels at all to me (Jeweltopia)
    - IANAA (I am not an artist) so I don't know if this is bad, but you have some pixelated graphics , some shiny (mac-like) graphics and some realistic 3d (the medal at the end of the level) -
     
  9. lakibuk

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    Ha,many people have been waiting for this game. I have to admit i have been sniffing around your /images dir and expected a puyo-puyo clone.
    Now to the criticism:
    - GAMEPLAY
    It's quite original compared to some other match-3 games which are pure rip-offs in terms of gameplay. I am not sure if it's fun though.
    I am sure it's no match for brilliant match-3 superhits like Chuzzle or Magic Vines.
    - GRAPHICS
    Looks pale when compared to many match-3 games you see on the portals. A little bit amateurish looking (the the tiles, the pixelated fonts or medal).
    - SOUND
    Hardrock tunes are a bit stressful. No sound options?
    - MISC
    Encountered one serious bug on level 5 and 7.
    Some tiles were hanging in the air, in level 7 they even messed up the levels structure so it was hard to see when you got 3-in-a-row. See attached file.
    After solving the level it would be better to return to the level select screen than back to the main menu where you have to select "adventure" again to play the next level.
    Explosion of the tiles takes too long.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. jankoM

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    I would make them pop out faster too... but I like the stylish way that yours pop out more than particle explosions and lond sounds of Jewel of A. This game is made for us sensitive souls, not the ones who strap machineguns to the rodents ;)

    Same here
     
  11. Nexic

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    I saw that one coming ^.^
     
  12. princec

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    Yes

    Yes, on a super top of the range laptop, apart from occasional pauses (GC I bet :D)

    Couldn't say, seemed trivial to the point of my intestines wanting to throttle my brain ;) Could be something to do with no shooting. I think it needs guns, haha :D

    No idea what "hard" actually means in this game. Does it change as you progress through the levels? I got to level 3 and it didn't change at all as far as I could tell.

    Trick question!

    Further comments:

    Level 2 seemed the same as level 1. Level 3 seemed the same as level 2. By the time I lost on level 3 I didn't really want to play any more, fearing more of the same.

    The jewel removal needs to be much faster after the first few.

    Already pretty well polished IMHO.

    Cas :)
     
  13. Anlino

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    The game lags like hell on my computer - my guess would be something like 0,5 FPS. My processor is Intel Celeron, 2,4 GHz. 512 mb Ram, FX5200. As you might understand, i can't provide you with any real feedback other than that. As comparison, my Computer runs FarCry smoothly with all settings on medium;)
     
  14. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    @sonicron: out of curiosity, are you using Flash?
     
  15. Rory

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    Blockness

    Does it run? - Yep.

    Does it run well? - Works like a charm on my Win XP Media Centre Edition P4 2.80GHz 512mb ram

    What do you think of the gameplay? - I really liked the fast pace of the game. The menu animations and the block switching were excellent. However I did feel that the once i had matched a line, the blocks disappeared to slowly. it seemed to break up the fast pace of the game.

    I also found myself wondering when the level was about to end. I didn't feel i had enough cues that i was progressing through a level. (And why did i keep making the little blue smiley face cry)

    Is it too easy or too hard? - I would have too lean towards to easy. I felt that because there were only 4 blocks (in the levels i played) i couldn't fail. I even tried to fail by just randomly clicking on spots, but I was still matching block lines.

    Did you enjoy yourself? - Very much so. It was a fun, entertaining and colourful experience. The music was bright and punchy and non-egypt related ( although I couldn't see an obvious way to turn it down or off).

    Other Bits - I was getting a few 'Ghost Blocks' left on my screen after i had cleared them. They stayed on the screen despite other blocks falling into their spots.

    Auto continue to the next level - Like the slow disappearing blocks, i felt that by not automatically going to the next level it broke up the fast action a bit.

    I really like the medal system, espescially the screen where i get to see all the medals i have received. However can I have some fancier looking medals ? :)

    Overall though, a fast and fun game. well done.
     
  16. papillon

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    It's cute and appealing but feels slightly outdated. Not just because of the resolution hit. :)

    Most of my comments are the same as others.

    The block-popping was a little too slow and made me feel impatient with the game.

    The hints couldn't be cleared by clicking on them, but also didn't disable the game field under them, so while clicking randomly trying to make the hint go away, it was affecting the game.

    Also, I got a hint screen 'stuck' telling me about adding happiness to "the the harmony" (remove a the please!) and it WOULD not go away so I finally quit. Which made my impression of your nag screen extra negative, since I was first made impatient by the slow popping, then irritated by a stuck screen, and now it WON'T LET ME LEAVE! :)

    If you're going to have multiple smiley faces you need to make it more clear. You could have a 'row' of smileys lined up waiting for their turn to get all happy, and then each time you happy-up a smiley, it gets a little animation of dancing up next to the meter and the next smiley in line moves into place. That way you feel "Yay! Achievement!" instead of "Did I do something wrong?"


    The gameplay could be fun, but I don't want to try it again until the hint screen problem is fixed at least. :)
     
  17. steve bisson

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    i agree with all the previous comments so my comment will not add anything but i said to daniel i would review it.

    It felt like a a watered down version of a bunch of "proven formulas " but without a real identity. There is some cool stuff in there tho , the intro music was really upbeat and i felt i could like it then i realised it was skipping frames and seemed to run slowly on my 1.7ghz sonoma with 1gig of ddr2 ram ( maybe a p4 2.2ghz equivalent ? )

    so the thing i liked best ( the squishy effect on the graphics ) was ruined because of poor frame rate.

    the hint screen took forever to get out of the playfield , the blocks disapear too slowly , chain reactions have you sit and watch.

    the crying chuzzle imitation doest have any "soul" its too simplistic of a character to be appealing and make you feel "empathy" for it crying. Black screen on game over ? i kept wishing there was a theme :(

    No "special tiles" ? maybe i did not play long enough for one to drop.

    The music that i liked in the intro seemed to get anoying in game where i would have prefered slower more relaxed music.

    i guess i was expecting something more "exceptional" too based on your posts , you did create great expectations yourself.

    Its not bad and most of the things that are not perfect can still be changed right !? everyone in this thread pretty much pinpointed all the weaker parts that could be improved.

    Good luck !
     
  18. Ricardo C

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    Yep.

    It ran very well on my aging system (Athlon 1.4Ghz, 256MB RAM, and a lowly GeForce 2MX)

    I thought it was very engaging.

    Neither, really.

    Yep, it's quite a fun game.

    Overall, I think it could do with more polish, and more detailed graphics. But I think the game kicks ass. Cheers, man :)
     
  19. Martoon

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    Wow, a real game. Sonicron isn't a fraud after all. ;)

    Overall, I like it. It's a nice variation on the Tetris Attack mechanic. The "hold" concept is interesting and fun.

    I agree with others that the gem popping needs to happen a lot faster. It wants to be more of an action game, but it feels like chess (without the strategy).

    Since the "hold" feature is so central to the game, it should show an obvious indicator of how many hold points you get from a swap (e.g., a big animated "+3" flying up to the hold counter, then the hold counter bounces up by 3). Maybe the hold counter could even be visual in some way, instead of just a number.

    I also agree with some that the look is a little generic. It's bright, bold, and colorful, but it doesn't have any particular, distinctive personality or theme.

    Out of curiosity, why is this game so CPU hungry? It doesn't look like it should be.

    The big timer counting down for the 25% discount on the exit screen is fantastic. :cool:
     
  20. Sharpfish

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    Hi Daniel - of course i'm glad to offer feedback on your first game, I can't believe it's finally out! (or nearly).

    anyway I am posting quick just to say it has problems on my test system.

    800mhz Duron
    gf4ti4200(128mb)
    512mb Ram

    The problems were apparent from the first animated menu. I think I was getting maybe 1fps! it was just 2 jerks then the screen had changed to in-game and the message came up about "click between the 2 gems to swap them" - I did and the game didn't respond at all. It hadn't locked up but nothing happened. I think low FPS was probably the reason here (maybe multi clicks had piled up cos I was clicking like mad?).

    anyway - of course this may just be the low CPU I am running - but I stick with this intentionally (I have a 3400+ amd64 in my laptop but can't check it on there right now). 800mhz it may be but it does run virtually everything I throw at it from these forums (and portals) and has happily been running my "3D game alpha" in a continuous (Soak) loop test all afternoon at a consistent 80fps with aniso+2xAA so I know the system can handle it.

    I had to ctrl/alt/del and shut down the game (I saw a flash icon - was it done in flash? If so I think I normally have a little trouble running larger flash stuff so that could explain things).

    Will report more tommorow when I get chance to give it a good going over.

    Rgds
     

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