New Game: CREATRIX (Check it out!)

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by sunspider, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. sunspider

    Original Member

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    A head-to-head puzzle game of battling contraptions.

    This is a completely original game mechanic, and my first fully produced design...

    Go to
    http://www.ultrafish.com/creatrix
    to check it out.

    I'm interested in any and all feedback.
     
  2. Jason Colman

    Indie Author

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    Ok, I haven't tried the game, but that font on the web page looks really crappy, in Opera and IE. I could see that it would put some people off. The game idea itself sounds good, I am definitely into building a robot which crushes my opponents. Should appeal to geeks everywhere :)
     
  3. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Um, that's a pretty interesting game you have there, but the tiny text really started to annoy me. Also, the font you've used for... well, everything... is quite hard to read, even if I set a good sized full screen mode. Also, there really is something wrong with the menu. I'm a long time gamer, but I often found myself getting lost, which really confused me, because on the surface it seems to be a normal layout. I think it's the small things, like having 'two players' above 'one player' (which goes against just about every other game in the universe) and having an options menu, with another 'game options' menu inside of it. On top of that, inside the first options menu you have another four specific menus for options inside of it! Lastly, they all have a link back to the 'Options menu' in each one, and I'm left (head spinning) wondering "Which options menu?"

    Sometimes text appears in the strangest places. If I try and edit a warehouse, I have a bunch of instructions appear in the middle of the screen. Why? There's no consistency in that, since by that time, I'm used to all of the text appearing above it, where the main menu did. At first, I didn't even notice it was there. Then I thought, "I guess I'm supposed to hit the 'Creatrix' logo in the options menu to finish. Of course, it annoyingly loaded your webpage. Then, I noticed the instructions to (unusually) hit Q to exit. Again, consistency was lacking.

    Honestly, I had this kind of trouble throughout your game. I'm sure a lot of people will put up with it, but it bothered me so much, I skipped the tutorial (which I got lost in as well) and played the game. I don't think I got as much out of it as I could have, and that's a shame, because I think it's a pretty interesting game underneath.

    Anyway, cutting this waffle short- the menu feels like something that has been crammed anywhere it'll fit. If something won't fit in one place, your logo moves, and it appears somewhere else. For a braindead gamer (which I am tonight :)) that isn't a good thing to do. It just confuses people, in my opinion.
     
  4. GameStudioD

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    The game idea itself looks very interesting. It definitely catches my attention.

    There is room for improvement in the user interface and look & feel of the game.

    * The text is unreadable. It is too small. There is some clipping or artifacting going on that is cutting off the ends of the letters. I literally could not read the instructions on how to play.

    * Separate the Menu from the game. The white text menu blends in with the background too easily. You obviously have the ability to produce nice graphics, take advantage of that.

    * Options Menu should only be 1 level. You split up all the options between graphics, sound, etc. Is there any question that 'music volume' is a sound option? Save the player some clicks!

    * The game pieces themselves are very small. It makes it very difficult to see whats going on.

    * While playing, clicking the Creatrix logo takes you to the website. I dont see the advantage of this. Why would a player want to go to your website in the middle of a game? This is not an activity that a player would want nor a beneficial feature for the player.

    Creatrix is not very usable. The interface gets in the way of gameplay. Every button and checkbox in the game is a decision for the player, minimize decisions. Put yourself in the shoes of a gamer. Look at every aspect of your game and ask if it enhances the game experience. If it does not, take it out or replace it. And make everything BIGGER.

    Good luck with Creatrix.
     
  5. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think the bigger-size thing that can taken care of by maximising the screen. Until you do that though, I agree... things are too small.
     
  6. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I like that it's original and interesting and not the same ol' same ol' game. I think conceptually it's got promise. I love the game title logo. That flowing creatrix font with the machined metal is great.

    Unfortunately.. while the idea is quite neat, the implementation is not so good. Problems I had...

    - You're concentrating on building the machines and it's difficult to pay attention to that while also paying attention to the fight of the machines going left and right on the bottom. So in some sense you miss the action.

    - I think the presentation is poor. The tiny fonts, the graphics etc... Aside from the great logo the game is not visually appealing and difficult to navigate and see what's going on because of it.

    - The machines themselves don't obviously and naturally fit together. You kind of get a feel for how they'll behave.. More wheels is more speed and more rockets flies higher and so on, but I think that if the various bits had fit together in a more natural way, a way where the player just knows immediately what it's going to do when he puts the parts together that the concept could work much better. Easy to say and very hard to do of course.

    - I didnt care for the player controls. The dual keyboard thing etc.. I would have much perferred a mouse driven game for one player and net play for multiplayer.

    All in all I think it's a strong, unique, and interesting premise for a game but that it's not implemented well enough to be a hit.
     
  7. sunspider

    Original Member

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    Feedbackback

    Wow. As my partner said, it's tough to read less-than-glowing feedback. But I really appreciate it. And I definitely see what y'all are saying. My only excuse is that we had no budget, little time, and a tiny team.

    All we've really got is a good engine and a good game idea. The interface is hacked in, and I guess I got used to it cause it seemed okay by the time I was done... but it's good to know where people are put off, and that seems to be the main place. Unfortunate, because that's what you have to deal with when you're learning to play.

    If anyone's interested in continuing play, here's my answers to the main issues:
    1) BAD TEXT: Forget playing in windowed mode. I think I'll just take it out completely, since the game is too detailed to play effectively in windowed mode anyway.
    2) OPPONENT'S DEVICES: The other device types are available in the full version.
    3) CONTROL SPEED: Learn to use 'DeviceCycle' from the 'Advanced Trix' Tutorial. Hidden deep in the options menus (i know, i know...) is a player option called 'Creatrix Speed Boost'. That will increase your movement speed.

    I do appreciate the feedback, and plan to continue developing this game in a couple months.

    Cheers
    Spider
     
  8. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    You've done well to submit your game for some no-frills feedback. Just think of the less-than-glowing feedback as part of a process to turn a good game into a great one :)

    With this,

    "BAD TEXT: Forget playing in windowed mode. I think I'll just take it out completely, since the game is too detailed to play effectively in windowed mode anyway."

    I'd keep the windowed mode in. It's a very helpful thing to have, but that font has got to change in my opinion. Full screen or not, it's a pain and a half to read. The rest of the game was fine in windowed mode. Maybe, if anything, full screen could be default instead of it.
     
  9. Mark Fassett

    Moderator Indie Author

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    Well - if you keep windowed mode in - make sure it doesn't try to default to really high resolutions...

    winmode 32x1600x1200
    pickedfullmode 32x2048x1536
    preffullmode 16x800x600
    cDevice::InitDevice: end
    cDevice::SetMode: start
    cDevice::SetMode: attempting windowed 1600x1200
    cDevice::SetMode: DX.DeviceP->CreateDevice()
    D3DERR_OUTOFVIDEOMEMORY
    cDevice::SetMode: DX.DeviceP->CreateDevice()
    D3DERR_OUTOFVIDEOMEMORY

    It kept telling me it couldn't init dx9 - which was not really helpful. Turned out - setting my screen depth to 16bit let it run. As for my setup - it's dual mon, running both mons at 1600x1200....

    As for the game, I really thought the player response was sluggish, which turned something that could have been really fun into something mildy amusing for a bit - but not something to play long term.
     
  10. Night Elf

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    I tried to try it, but I couldn't.

    When I run the game, I see a big logo that says "Creatrix", then it shrinks. Then I see what seems like a dual Tetris screen and nothing happens. There are no options to choose from and no way to start the game. If I click around I hear some sounds. One of those blind clicks did something... a sprite started coming down one of the screens... but then I clicked again and the game seemed to freeze.
     
  11. ultrafish

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    font problems

    We seem to be having some problems with the stock Direct3D fonts. Custom fonts are on the enhancement list.

    Just as at test, Night Elf, you can try letting it run for 10 secs without any mouse or keyboard input. It should automatically start demo mode. Pretty hard to operate it without any text though...

    Also, it will help us track and fix any bugs you find if you send the 'ufish.log' file from your \Creatrix folder to creatrix@ultrafish.com.

    Thanks,

    ultrafish
     
  12. stan

    Original Member Indie Author

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    I like this game! Too bad there are so few levels in the demo... ;) I could have played more. BTW, maybe you'd rather stop the game with a nag screen after the last demo level has been beaten instead of replaying it forever.

    I generaly agree with what the others have said. The default window size is too small to read the text and see the devices, but when maximized (in 1024x768) it's ok. So my advice would be, just open the window maximized! That way you don't get the disadvantages of full screen (moving desktop icons, reboot needed in case of freeze/crash, things messing up when the firewall window opens...).

    I also think the game should be playable with the arrow keys, at least in one player mode.

    The tutorial was difficult to understand, especially since there are several things to read/look at at the same time.

    But overall, I think it's a pretty nice idea done well, and I like having to understand how to build the machines so that they fly/roll/don't crash to the other side.
     
  13. ultrafish

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    Patch link on the Creatrix site

    I added a link to a small patch download on the creatrix site: http://ultrafish.com/creatrix

    The current patch replaces the offending 'westminster' font and should open in fullscreen 16x800x600 by default. If you're still having problems with the new patch, try deleting the 'creatrix.crx' file in the \Creatrix install folder.

    thanks for your feedback,

    ultrafish
     
  14. ultrafish

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    Stan, I believe that the patch will also allow you to play with no restrictions.
     

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