Our group, My Escape, has released their first flash game, Critter Cubes. We'd love s

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by grhufnagl, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. grhufnagl

    grhufnagl New Member

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    Our group, My Escape, has released their first flash game, Critter Cubes

    Critter Cubes - We'd love your feedback

    To Summarize:

    "In early July this year, My Escape's team was joined by professional designer and animator Dave Rigley. During the team's typical meetings in virtual offices, this over-excited Canadian artist revealed that his heart was fixated on starting a zoo in Antartica. With disastrous consequences that later ensued, the team now calls for help to save the poor frozen animals by stacking them on a boat and shipping them safely home. Critter Cubes, the team assures, is addictive and fun when one starts to stack the cubes as high as is single-handedly possible without toppling over. With the game's objective, art, and nature, Critter Cubes keeps consistent with the company's brand image of peculiar and strange, yet giggle-worthy."

    In terms of size, we categorize it as a micro game, but it has the elements we are interested in projecting for this and future titles. We were also experimenting with micro payment items via Mochi Coins. If anyone else has used this feature before and would like to share their experience, I'd love to hear from you.

    Cheers and thanks,

    George

    [​IMG]
     
    #1 grhufnagl, Nov 10, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  2. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Very funny. A little counter intuitive that I'm going up (most games I'm trying to go down). I have to say that I liked the art and concept better than the game play.

    I'm currently trying to get Superrewards embedded into my Flash title (or, more accurately, getting it to actually work - hooking it up was a snap) - I would be interested to hear about your experiences with Mochicoins either online or if you cared to drop me an email.

    Best of luck with your game.
     
  3. grhufnagl

    grhufnagl New Member

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    Hi Lennard,

    Thanks for your comments and compliments. I'll be sure to give the artists a nod from your words :)

    We've had the game out for a few days now and are trying to gauge whether the commitment from the players gets them excited to enough to move to the next level. I imagine that it'll for games the rely on competitive leaderboards exclusively for motivation of success, the leaderboard needs to be populated to a point that players actively seek out the top spot.

    I'll report back in the coming weeks to give my results.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  4. jpoag

    jpoag New Member

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    Without a losing condition, it's not really a game. It's more of a physics simulator toy.

    Here are some losing conditions you might consider:
    • Too many blocks into the drink.
    • Large height drop.
    • Line of scrimmage. Similar to American Football: the highest height you reach is your 'line of scrimmage'. Then, you get a certain # of tries (downs) to break that line of scrimmage.

    The last idea could have a limbo-bar across the screen as a 'scrimmage' line. That ties into this next suggestion: You have a 'max height reached' number on the top of the screen, but players are more visual. It would be better if you had a flag or arrow marker at the highest point reached.

    I know you're trying to break away from Tower Bloxx, but if the blocks were all square, it would be a little more fun.

    In any event, I was frustrated after a minute when I couldn't get any higher and couldn't lose to start over.
     
  5. sulaiman

    Original Member

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    Hi, I played until I got the silver medal. It reminded me of a 2D version of Tumble for the PS3 Move , except with less control on placement and rotation. When I got the stack up high, it seemed I was more or less relying on luck and just had to hope the shape landed correctly.

    As jpoag mentioned, maybe there could be goals for winning and conditions for losing. One ideal would be to achieve a certain height within a certain time limit. Once you get to the goal, in the next level you have to place blocks that have increasingly complex shapes.

    Was there any way to control the sound volume without muting it?
     
  6. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    Game? I click the mouse, drop a shape - when I get near the highest score it increases and I have to go for more?
     
  7. richtaur

    Indie Author

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    Brain dump feedback for you:

    - Opening music is LOUD! Wow, turn that down plz.
    - On the title screen, why are there buttons above the text? Shouldn't the text be IN the buttons?
    - The ads at the bottom of the screen are EXTREMELY disruptive, sometimes even covering up the game! An ad for Honda cars kept jumping up into the screen. I've got better things to do with my time than have ads shoved down my throat. Please consider a different business model.
    - After viewing leaderboards, I tried New Game and the game completely broke. I see the gameplay screen with the leaderboards modal behind it, but nothing is happening. I had to refresh the page to get the game to work :(
    - You have really got to tutorialize the gameplay. I don't want to read instructions before playing and I bet other people don't either.

    The music is appropriate and the art is charming, but you have so many gameplay and usability issues that it's difficult to see anything but the rough spots.
     
  8. barrygamer

    Original Member

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    I was also confused by the lack of losing conditions, and wasnt sure if I was playing it right or not. I didnt discover any tactics to improve what was happening.
     
  9. grhufnagl

    grhufnagl New Member

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    Hi Everyone,

    Thank you for your honest and substantive feedback. You've all given me some things to think about and I appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    I'm not going to bore the forums with the backstory about how the game came to be vs. a more substantial title, but as mentioned in the first post, this is what we consider to be a micro game title. It was a port from a mobile phone game, but we've added the online leaderboards as well as micro transaction items for web game versions. If we were to start from scratch, we'd likely add more elements to the game and will likely do so for a sequel.

    Whether it's considered a game by some or a toy by others is an ok level of ambiguity for me :) It does have a directive, a challenge and a sense of competition. Those are the core elements we were hoping to start with in a small title and then branch out from there. It was a small, but important step for the group.

    For specific comments:

    jpoag "In any event, I was frustrated after a minute when I couldn't get any higher and couldn't lose to start over."

    I appreciated your input regarding losing conditions. That's something to consider to help quantify the experience for future games. In the case of Critter Cubes, we implemented an in-game Reset button (within the in-game menu button) just for this occasion. Perhaps we need to make it more clear, but we simply didn't have enough in-game space for that. Cheers for your help.

    sulaiman "Was there any way to control the sound volume without muting it?" - We designed the game specifically for mobile phone contests and the rules stipulated a simple audio on/off button for all games. Future titles will have a mixing option, but unfortunately this one does not.

    richtaur (I'll just respond to each individual comment

    - Opening music is LOUD! Wow, turn that down plz.

    (will check that out for sure)

    - On the title screen, why are there buttons above the text? Shouldn't the text be IN the buttons?

    (This was an aesthetic choice of the artist, but other games on which we're currently working implement your preference.)

    - The ads at the bottom of the screen are EXTREMELY disruptive, sometimes even covering up the game! An ad for Honda cars kept jumping up into the screen. I've got better things to do with my time than have ads shoved down my throat. Please consider a different business model.

    (I'm not sure to what you're referring when you mentioned ads at the bottom of the screen. I'm sure this has to be a bug of some sort as we've not run into this problem before and is not the intended application. The ads should only be introduced at the beginning of the game during the pre-loader and never appear again. I'll make note of this in case it pops up again).

    - After viewing leaderboards, I tried New Game and the game completely broke. I see the gameplay screen with the leaderboards modal behind it, but nothing is happening. I had to refresh the page to get the game to work

    (Again, this is a first. I've tried replicating this problem several times and I'm not getting the same result. If you don't mind sharing, can you tell which browser you're using?)

    - You have really got to tutorialize the gameplay. I don't want to read instructions before playing and I bet other people don't either.

    (That would make sense for a progressive-based game, in the case of going through levels, but for a game with such a simple directive and one in which we wanted players to move smoothly in and out, it didn't make sense for us in this game. I actually hate a lot of front end text while in-game, so to consolidate the information into a single screen with a button leading into the game made the most sense. I truly do appreciate the input.)

    Thanks again everyone. I appreciate conversations like this and the care you've taken when critiquing.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  10. richtaur

    Indie Author

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    Sure, I'm on a MacBook Pro (OSX 10.6.4) and I was running Chrome 9.0.570, latest version of flash.

    Fair enough :)

    Just wanted to say I appreciate your handling of the constructive criticism. I try to provide honest and helpful feedback and on more than one occasion I've had the developer in question lash out at me, so it's really nice to have someone respond intelligently with the aim to improve the product. Good for you! I'm sure your games will be better for it.
     
  11. grhufnagl

    grhufnagl New Member

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    Richtaur (makes me want to scream your name like Strongbad),

    I know EXACTLY what you mean :)

    Criticisms can sometimes feel like a personal attack, but I know that when it's well-constructed (as I've read here), it's time to leave egos at the door and just listen. Cheers for giving me your tech specs.

    I appreciate the compliment, too. I can say the same about you!

    Thanks,

    George
     

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