JigBlocks

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by ztownsend, Oct 5, 2004.

  1. ztownsend

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    In the process of completing my first PC game, and would appreciate feedback from you all. Jigblocks is a puzzle game - move the blocks to clear the levels. I thought I'd start with a simple game, to make sure I do actually finish it!! :cool: The first 3 levels are just to show you how the game works. I've only done 10 or so levels so far, but it should give you a good idea of the complete game.

    Website - http://www.handmadebyaliens.com/
    Download - http://www.handmadebyaliens.com/download-jigblocks.php
    How to play - http://www.handmadebyaliens.com/howtoplay1.php

    Please don't comment :eek: on our website layout, as I know its crap, but it will be redone when I get some inspiration (and time).

    I'm more interested in feedback on the game. Is it playable? Does it look like it could be fun etc? How does it look etc?

    Also, any problems running it on yur PC? It does require DX7, and a reasonably decent 3D graphics card.

    Thanks
    Zach
    www.handmadebyaliens.com
     
    #1 ztownsend, Oct 5, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2004
  2. andyb

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    Nice game :)

    I would suggest 2 things though, so far

    1: add an option to restart the level without having to quit the game and lose your score.

    2: when the number of blocks left is sufficiently low, check that the player can complete the level. if not tell them. ie. if there is only one block left, or two blocks but different patterns, etc.

    Other than that, I really like it :)
     
  3. Carrot

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    Not sure if you plan on trying to sell the game or not - it's okay, not really sellable though I think (and I know it's a beta).

    The problem with remaking old games is that there tends to be lots of free versions on the web already.
    Added to this, I can play Puzznic (the original name) in a browser with little or no hardware requirements.
    So besides a learning experience, I can't see much future for this game as far as making money goes, but then you never know...
    Just my opinion anyway.

    Cheers,
    Ciaran.
     
  4. ztownsend

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    andyb, thanks for the feedback, your points..
    1. Yes, I should add that.
    2. Thought about that but decided against it.

    Carrot - I knew there was an old game out there similar to this but I couldn't remember for the life of me the name of it, and I did try and find it. I remember playing it years ago. Now you've reminded me what it was!! Yes, this is designed to be similar, as I loved the original. The rotating and moveable platforms on later levels do add an extra side to the game though, don't you think?
     
  5. EpicBoy

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    Err ... why? It would be much more beneficial to the player if they were told, "Hey, you can't complete this level now ... want to try again?" than to be left floundering around endlessly with no idea why they can't finish.
     
  6. andyb

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    Agreed, some players could battle mentally for quite a while on later levels trying to find a way to finish when none exists. Although I do appreciate that it might be quite hard on those later levels to determine programmatically if the level can be finished.

    I would also suggest adding a way for the player to tilt the grid, some angles that the game chooses make it unneccessarily awkard to view easily. Or is that part of that challenge?
     
  7. ztownsend

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    Writing a routine to figure out whether the level is completable is beyond my ability, if you include all the rotating and moving platforms etc. If you can write such a routine, then I will accept that you are a genius!! :D

    I can't see the point of a routine that just checks if there is only one left of a block type. If a player can't spot that (see block count menu to left of grid), then pointing it out to him isn't going to help.

    In playing it myself, I prefer to not know whether I've made a mistake, and the level is no longer completable. If the computer told me everytime I made a 'fatal' mistake, I think that would spoil the gameplay. It would also encourage players to try 'any' moves on difficult levels (without thinking) to see if the computer flagged it, and then they would know that that move was wrong.

    Just my opinion - but I welcome yours. :)

    Yes, the tilt bit was put in to make it harder and look different.

    You can alter the tilt, using the cursor keys on the number grid, but this is just for debug purposes. I was going to take it out when the game is finished.
     
  8. EpicBoy

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    Quite frankly, that's insane. People expect games to tell them when it's "game over" time. Allowing them to plod on, completely oblivious to the fact that they can't win seems ludicrious.

    Now, if you CAN'T write the routine (the data doesn't allow it, or whatever), that's fine - but don't try to sell me on the design merits of it because it's a mistake no matter how you slice it.
     
  9. ztownsend

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    chill epicboy ;). It's just my opinion, and I respect that yours is different - that's why I'm happy to hear it. I've spoken to several people who agree with me on this particular issue. Maybe we're all insane, eh?

    There are two sides to it. Yes, as I stated, it is impossible for me to write a routine that can tell at any point whether the game is potentially completable or not. Maybe someone else could, but I haven't seen anybody offering. :rolleyes:

    The main issue remains IMHO, its a puzzle game that requires on later levels that you think about strategy. Moving blocks the wrong way can get you into trouble later - but not immediately. It's not an obvious 'game over situation', more like 'you haven't got enough money left to buy the weapons you are going to need to defeat the end of level baddy'. I've found, on more complicated levels, even when you think you've made a mistake, it's helpfull to test out some other moves, so that next time you restart, you've got more chance to completing a level. As far as I'm aware the original - Puzznic didn't tell you if you made a 'fatal' move. Other clones I've seen don't either. Jigblocks is more complicated with the rotating and moving platforms. So why is it so 'insane'? It's not a 'mistake' - I purposely started writing the game with no intention of the computer identifying a 'fatal' move'. I am interested that you think I've got it wrong - cos that does indictate that there's a possibility that others will too. But have you played the first 10 levels? I accept that if you don't like the game, the above probably won't make much sense.
     
  10. andyb

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    It's a fair point that later levels, being much more complicated, would be quite hazardous to try and code a routine to check if the level is completable or not.

    As long as you provide an option to restart the level without losing points, I'd think that would be enough for the majority of players. Or maybe just knock off a small amount of score for restarting. Just not make the player leave the game and start from 0 score. But as you said, you'll add that anyway :D
     
  11. Redclaw

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    That doesn't seem to hinder Solitaire's success though does it. Many times you'll reach an unwinnable point, but I've never seen a solitaire game that informs the player.

    I'm not saying that should be the case with this game, but still the precedent is there.
     
  12. ztownsend

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    cheers for the feedback guys.

    Anybody completed the first 11 levels? Too easy - too hard??
     
  13. EpicBoy

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    Who are you talking to? Casual gamers or people like yourself? :)

    Well, as I said, if it's a programmatic impossibility to determine this situation then there's no point in my trying to convince you to add it. If you can't, you can't. I was taking issue with you trying to sell me on the merits of the system - it's a bad situation for the player to be in and I think we should at least be honest about that.

    Is it possible to turn the question around? Is there a way you can add a "hint" button where the game could suggest the next move to the player?

    I haven't played it, no. I'm just talking from a position of general game design guidelines.
     
  14. ztownsend

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    they were casual gamers.
    fair enough. I personally think telling the player when he makes a wrong move would change the gameplay. If you were stuck on a level, you could take each block in turn and move it left to drop it off a platform, and see if the computer tells you you've made a mistake. That to me, is NOT the game. But again, just my opinion - yours is the opposite of mine - that's fine. :)

    A good compromise, and would make much more sense to me, but to be honest, I think technically, this would be very difficult. Unless it was just a simple, highlight the matching blocks, which I don't think is worth it.

    hmmmm
     
  15. andyb

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    I completed the first 9 levels, and I'd say the difficulty increased at just about the right pace, for me anyway :)
     
  16. Mike Wiering

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  17. ztownsend

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    andyb - thanks for that.

    Mike - interesting - I must remember to test it with another browser - although as I said in the first post, this website will be redone before I finish the game.

    I've done so many websites, sometimes you just can't be bothered - hence this. :rolleyes:
     
  18. EpicBoy

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    Don't discredit anything I'm saying because I haven't played the game. Nothing I've said or have been arguing is specific to your game. These are universal guidelines and issues.
     
  19. ztownsend

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    look, no-one is discrediting you - read the previous posts. I've said several times, I welcome your opinion - even if its the opposite of mine. That doesn't make you right though, does it? Look at Blox, solitaire and probably Puzznic (although I haven't played it recently) to name several other games that ignore your 'universal guidelines".
    They obviously don't. Your universal guidelines are not as universal as you might think.

    So I think we've covered that point in enough depth now, haven't we? Unless you want to actually play the game you've got such a strong opinion about? :D I've made my point as to why I'm not going to attempt to write a routine that tells the player if he makes a wrong move. That doesn't make me insane, as you suggest, or dishonest about why I'm not doing it. I'm just different from you - so please, enough on this!!

    I was hoping for a little more varied feedback on gameplay, level of difficulty, graphics etc, etc, not this crap!!!
     
  20. EpicBoy

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    Great, then I'll stop posting. No harm done. I wish you the best of luck with this game.
     

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