Tasty Planet Beta

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Dingo Games, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. Dingo Games

    Indie Author

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    Hi everyone, I finished my "growth" game Tasty Planet. I'm doing a bit of a beta release before I start publicizing too much. So I'd like to get your feedback.

    Website:
    Tasty Planet Game

    Screenshots:
    Tasty Comic
    Cars
    Earth

    Download:
    Windows Tasty Planet Download
    Mac Tasty Planet Download

    So test out the game and tell me what you think. The first thing that I want to know is whether or not it works on your computers. Any graphical glitches, etc.

    If anyone could test on an Intel Mac that would be great, it's the first time I've built a universal app and I haven't tested it yet. It should work with 10.3.9 and up for Mac (also, any one with a 10.3.9 PPC Mac can confirm it works?).

    Also, do you think the demo ends at the right point?

    Thanks for your time, I appreciate it.
     
  2. impossible

    Original Member

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    I've been wanting to check this out ever since the videos were first released, cool game. You've managed to take a lot of good things about Katamari and Feeding Frenzy and get them into this game.

    I found one technical problem. If the game loses focus all the currently loaded sprites will lose their alpha channels. New sprites that are loaded or sprites that get reloaded will have correct alpha, but any currently loaded sprites will have black backgrounds, and this continues if a new level is loaded.

    I was preparing to write a long rant about how Katamari wouldn't be a challenging game without the time limits until I discovered time attack mode. I think the normal mode is a little too easy, and enemy avoidance and environment navigation don't offer enough of a challenge, but I also think the time attack constraints are too difficult. I think it is a good idea to drop time attack mode and add much looser time constraints to the normal mode. You could also break the game down into easy and hard modes, where hard mode is like time attack mode now and easy mode has easier times.

    In terms of level design you might want to change things also. Enemies spawning at the egdes of the screen and avoiding you means that in many levels you have a cluster of enemies at the edges, which can get annoying. It looks like the level backgrounds can easily be tiled, so you might want to consider removing the invisible walls and having wrapping or repeating levels.

    Another thing is sense of scale and object density. My favorite thing about Katamari was how in the later levels you started out very small and became large enough to eat the entire city. In this game the levels feel much more static in terms of scaling. Ideally you would not just scale the blob, you'd also scale the objects. It seems like you do this a little bit, but I'd like to see it more pronounced. The big differences in the scales of the different levels make it hard to make a 100% smooth level transition. If you can find some way to get that sense of scale in a single level it would be great. I also feel like there should be more stuff in the levels, and at times they feel sparse. While I understand that getting the same variety of objects that Katamari has is a big challenge, but just having more stuff in the level would be nice.

    There were a lot of cool simulation things in the game that I don't think Katamari has. How mice were attracted to cheese, how larger animals eat bigger ones, etc. In the videos, some of the later levels with cops and military units attacking you seemed really cool. Unfortuanately the demo doesn't include that content so I can't tell you if I actually think it works.

    People might make comments about the art style, the art quality or the level of polish in the game, but I think the art works well and is pretty good.
     
  3. Vincent033

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    Great Demo

    Played the demo all the way. Great game! I experienced my gray blog character losing the alpha transparency issue addressed in the previous reply using WinXP SP2 by Alt+Tabbing out of game. The storyline and the what's next to eat kept me going. Art and music are satisfactory. The only bad part is that after a little bit my wrist got a little fatigued. But the game was good enough that I kept on playing anyway! Look forward to the end product. Great work!
     
  4. impossible

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    I got fatigued at certain points also. Keyboard controls (arrow keys) work also, so if you have some wrist fatigue switching to keyboard helps.
     
  5. clilian

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    Worked fine on my iMac G5 with OS X 10.3.9

    Nice game, a little too easy in the beginning but that should appeal to a broader audience.

    I really enjoyed the "mazes" bonus levels with eatable walls :)

    Lilian :)
     
  6. Sillysoft

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    I played it on an intel MacBook Pro under MacOS 10.4.8. It ran properly, but I had some issues:

    Graphical glitches: sometimes the grey goo would display change from himself to be an image that seemed to be parts of the other objects on the level. Some other images became really weird looking as well. It seemed like going into the gallery and back was a reproducable way of making the images all go screwy. I tried to take some screenshots, but they wouldn't take for some reason.

    On the first level, I could see some pixel lines where the background textures met up.

    Acorns looked like golf balls to me.

    I would have preferred to always use the keyboard control, but I found it way to hard to control the goo with the keyboard when he was small. He would move way to fast. When he was bigger the keyboard controls worked better.

    While in fullscreen, I could not control-tab to switch out of the app.

    The music started to annoy me after a while. I remember really liking the laser dolphin music though.

    I agree with above comment that the arbitrary level edges were weird. I would prefer a wrapping level, or just make the level fields bigger. Especially things like the ocean - the ocean in real life is HUGE, but I can't keep going in the game.

    The background textures were somewhat plain, I would try to spice them up where possible.

    I don't know about where you ended the demo. It's after the first 'hard' level, and what I saw of the ocean isn't that varied compared to some earlier stuff. I would try to wow them right before ending it.

    It's a fun game. The graphical glitches need to be fixed for sure. After that, I think you should try and polish it up as much as possible to get it to reach its full potential.
     
  7. clilian

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    Oops, I forgot to tell you that the game crashed (rather cleanly : didn't affect the computer) on exit (after the nag screen).

    no texture glitches like the ones of Sillysoft here.

    Lilian :)
     
  8. barrygamer

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    Great fun, nice job!

    I also had the graphic glitch, with textures getting replaced by the wrong ones -- gets worse the longer I play, until most textures wrong. No other problems on Mac Mini, Intel Solo, 10.4.7.

    LOVED the music and sound. I also like the graphic style.

    I agree with above: keyboard control too hard (too sensitive) when blob is small, fine when large.

    Also agree: could add some more variety to the ocean level (boats, starfish etc). This level seems to suddenly make large items deadly? Also, the edible fish are very similar size to the deadly ones.

    I suppose if it were mine I would just add even more variety to each theme (though its clear there are a lot of new items in the later levels).
     
  9. arcadetown

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    Fun game. Really enjoyed some of the complex structures like long bacteria strands, nice touch. But after a while got bored as there was no real challenge.

    How about challenge like Feeding Frenzy, not that FF is particuarly challenging either. Perhaps a life meter or # of lives with instant death? On each level seems once you grow to eat 2nd level items there is nothing left to challenge you. How about ever increasing size enemies on each level ala FF?

    How about a little left mouse button kicker that when pressed gives a little burst of speed, to spice things up. And perhaps bonuses that when eat a bunch of stuff you get faster points or growth rates?
     
  10. impossible

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    All the comments about "the game got boring because there was no real challenge" are proof that time attack mode should normal mode and most people are likely to not even check it out. Once again, if you played the game and thought it was too boring and not challenging enough you should play time attack mode.
     
  11. Dingo Games

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    Thanks for the feedback, it's very helpful.

    Yeah, I knew that developers and hardcore gamers would find it too easy. As you say, Time Attack is much more suited for them. Time Attack actually has harder enemies too (more damage, and some are more agressive). I might change the name to something that people are more likely to check out (Challenge Mode?). And I might add a timer to the default mode as well, but with much easier times.

    But I'm not entirely convince.. I think that the untimed easy default mode might be great for casual gamers.

    I'll release another version soon.. I have to figure out these mac problems... (I already know what is causing the windows alt-tab problem)
     
  12. barrygamer

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    I think you're right -- I usually ignore any 'timed' modes. I wonder how many people ignore ALL game modes, except the 'main' one :rolleyes:
    I'm a fan of the medal idea, as long as the bronze time isn't tooooo tough (maybe I am just crap :eek: ). I suppose if the bronze is nice and easy then the 'timed' mode could become the main mode, without putting off casual players. But, it then becomes too easy to progress... hmm.

    BTW, its surely no help but I see no glitches when running via Rosetta, so its some intel build thing... I will keep a look out for any updated demo to test.
     
  13. impossible

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    I think this is pretty common. I usually ignore all modes except the main one, but I made an exception with this game because it felt so wrong without a timer :).

    I'd argue that casual gamers want low challenge, but they don't want no challenge. Don't make your game super easy thinking that casual gamers can't deal with it. One of the big reasons Boxen isn't more popular is difficultly level. Many people find it too easy and get bored with it quickly.
     
  14. arcadetown

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    I'll echo Impossible. In our original BLOX game all the first 10 freebie levels were easy with thought that users would blow through the demo, hit the trial limit, and bam want to buy. But w/o much challenge users didn't care. Once kicked up the challenge we saw more sales.

    Like to see "Challenge Mode / Story Mode" (timed mode) to be the your default option and have "Casual Mode" (your current normal mode) as side option. Take another look at Feeding Frenzy. The challenge is barely there yet it's compelling enough to keep users playing and draw good sales.
     
  15. Geom

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    Cute game.

    I also would have preferred more challenge. Maybe more variety in enemy behavior would help there. Like occasionally, let enemies suddenly accelerate towards you (maybe after doing a special animation). Something like that, to keep the player on his toes.

    I liked the music, and I think it fits the zaniness of the game.

    I really liked the comic. Very amusing and I thought it helped tie the levels together.

    I didn't really understand why my little guy kept shrinking between levels? E.g. at the end of one level he'd be 5 cm, then at the next he'd start at 2 cm.

    You might want to scale up the menus, etc. for play at higher resolutions.

    I thought the mouse's "squeak" sounded weak and could use improvement. But the other sound effects were pretty entertaining.

    The game played fine on my system, no crashes. Athlon 2400+, GeForce 6600GT, Win XPSP2 at 1920x1200.
     
  16. electronicStar

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    Yeah please set time attack as the default mode because the relaxed mode is too boring.
    I also feel like this game lacks an additional gameplay mechanic. At the moment, the stages are a bit too formulaic to be really enjoyable, it's lacking some kind of randomness and the player should be more involved stratgically speaking. It's like it's missing an element
    Too often I found myself just waiting for small "food" to appear so that I could finish the stage by eating the big "item" waiting for me.
    There should be more variety in the enemies and more different enemies per stage.
    for the "relaxed" mode it would be awesome if you could make it a continuous play, without having the player to click on a useless "world map". You'd have to stream-load the new enemies/backgrounds on the fly somehow and "zoom out" at each level change, there would be a real continuous play, that would be an awesome way of playing.
    I think the world map is really not necessary in this game you could remove it.
    The concept-idea for this game is solid gold , please take the time to refine it.
    I love some of the paths and movements of the enemies.
     
  17. Dingo Games

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    Hmmm, well at least there is always the option of releasing as a regular non-universal if I can't figure the problem out.

    I put up a new version for Mac with a few fixes. It now spits out debug info to the file username/library/preferences/tastyplanet/debugfile.txt

    So if an intel mac person could reproduce those bugs and then send it to me (zip it if its too big) it would be very helpful. At least I hope it will be helpful.. I only have vague idea of what the problem could be. You can send it to support (at) dingogames.com. Thanks a lot :)

    Thanks for all the other gameplay comments. I am working on changes now. I think I will switch the default mode to timed. I'll make the times a bit easier, except for gold medal - which will still be quite hard to get. Also, I think I will add a few items to the last picnic table level, and then cut the demo off right after the comic for the first fish level.

    I already changed up the controls a wee bit (but these changes are not online yet). The default mouse speed is a bit faster (my windows mouse settings are set to maximum, so the game always played faster for me than most people computers). I fixed up the keyboard controls so they are better.. I sort of forgot they were even in the game, actually. Joystick is also possible btw, however it's not available from the game menus right now, it can be turned on in the options.xml file in user/application data/tastyplanet.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback, I'll let you know when I release the next version.
     
  18. Sillysoft

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    I tried out the new mac version. Played a few levels on it and no sign of any image problems like before. Keyboard controls are better too.

    When I exited the game, MacOS popped up a dialog saying it crashed with this info:

    Code:
    Thread 0 Crashed:
    0   GLEngine                    	0x00699dc9 glDeleteTextures_Exec + 11
    1   libGL.dylib                 	0x92b0f98e glDeleteTextures + 90
    2   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x00097676 KGraphicGL::freePicture() + 94
    3   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x000976c4 KGraphicGL::~KGraphicGL [in-charge deleting]() + 50
    4   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x00025c92 DSprite::ImageMap::clearAllGraphics() + 44
    5   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x0002604c DSprite::ImageMap::~ImageMap [in-charge]() + 26
    6   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x000275db DSprite::ImageMaps::~ImageMaps [in-charge]() + 41
    7   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x00010c24 DGUI::Manager::~Manager [in-charge]() + 228
    8   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x0006b76c main + 6130
    9   com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x00002202 _start + 216
    10  com.yourcompany.tastyplanet 	0x00002129 start + 41
    
     
  19. barrygamer

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    Hi,

    I didnt get any glitches in the new mac version either! (BTW, how to tell if apps are running in Rosetta?). Anyway, no glitches.
    Keyboard controls are better, maybe still a *little* tricky to make small movements.

    I did see one crash on exit, the output was the same as Sillysoft reported.
     
  20. jeb_

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    Argh! I'm in desperate need of a cheat code and/or somebody else's save game!

    Here's the story:

    I played through the demo and thought it was nice, and since I've got a special stash on my Paypal account just to buy shareware games I decided to buy the full version. This went fine, but I noticed a bug that if I didn't uninstall the demo version before installing the full, some sound effects wouldn't work (for example the cats "meeow!"). I fixed this by deleting the "sounds" folder and installing the full version again.

    Then I was playing the game for like an hour. The "city" levels were rather fun, but the "sky" levels were not :( I just wanted to get pass them... Finally I came to the "orbit" levels and finished the first one, but in the second one the game crashed! To make bad things worse, it hadn't saved my progress! *cries*

    So... Can anybody help me with a savegame that rescues me from the ordeal of the "sky" levels again? Cheers! :)
     

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