Cooldown (Wiz & Caanoo)


glezmen

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
297
My entry for the Pandora Angst Coding Competition. I didn't place really well, though :rolleyes:
After some modifications, here comes the current version.

small2.png


small4.png


WIZ

CAANOO

Feedbacks are welcome ;)
 

RupeeClock

Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
394
Okay, here comes some criticism because it's harsh.

First off is that the game seems unbalanced, I often found myself forced into corners because the game would actually give me the same tile over and over, I'm not expecting it to give me the tile I need right away, but to at least give it to me. Getting the same tile twice in a row is tolerable, but thrice isn't, tetris avoids doing that for a reason. I've often found myself having to wait 20+ tiles to get something I need to complete a section.

There's a lot of unintuitive quirks in the interface, I could list them out.

  • The title screen is touch screen only, but the gameplay can be touch screen or button, and the quit button is touch screen only, it's inconsistent.
  • Clicking settings just plays a voice clip.
  • There's no pause menu, just a quit menu that doesn't pause the game (what gives?)
  • The scoring is unclear, do you have a total score? Do the levels have some sort of score multiplier? A per-level score? What rewards points?
  • Laying tiles is confusing, the tile to be placed looks the same as the tile underneath. It would help if the crosshair's tile was a different colour or maybe even empty, having to look at the current tile.
  • It would help if there was some sort of tile animation when tiles are used, letting you know the order of what tiles come next.
  • Pressing A to speed up the hot ball, before the flow starts, causes a glitch where the trail instantly finishes.
  • The temperature gauge has no needle before the ball launches, and when it does the gauge isn't very noticeable. I think it would be better to change the gauge for a vertical thermometer because it would give a clearer image.
  • To add to that last point, I think it would be better if the game specified a minimum number of tiles needed to cool the ball. In the case of green tiles they're half as effective I guess so 2 green tiles = 1 blue tile?
The game could be much more intuitive if you made some critical changes.
 

glezmen

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
297
Hi RupeeClock,

thanks for the feedback and the useful advices, I'll try to improve the game they way you recommended.

About the scoring:

Blue tile: 100 points
Green: 50 points
Yellow: 300
Red: 1000

Bonus points:

Crossing: 5x score of the tile
Ball trail is 30 tiles long: 5000
50 tiles: 12000
66 tiles: 20000

3 green tiles in a row: 3x value of a green tile
6 greens: 9x
9 greens: 12x
12 greens: 20x

yellow tiles in a row: 6x, 18x, 24x, 40x
red tiles in a row: 9x, 27x, 36x, 60x

if you play a level multiple times after finishing for the first time, you get less points for each tile (including penalties). the second play is 90%, the third is 80%, etc (you can see the multiplier on the level chooser screen)

you get penalty points for unused tiles (placed on the board but balls didn't touch them), it's half the point value of the tile
overwriting an already placed tile reduces your score with half the point value of the deleted tile
 

u9i

Call me Uni
Joined
Jun 27, 2008
Messages
761
Age
43
Location
Faroe Islands
Website
riotdigital.com
Ok, i've been playing it for a while.

- First off, i love the story. Brilliant. Great humor with things like "all bunnies on earth will die" etc.
- The game guides the player well, tutorial on the first level, not giving too much info, just enough, and then the second level adds a little more. That is very well done
- I don't like so much that i score less the second time i play a level. For games like this, i often compete with my gf on who gets more points, but this scoring system assumes only one player. I'm not saying change it, it is just something to think about
- Animating the next tiles would look awesome. Both me and my gf didn't know at first sight which tile is the next. All you need to do is let them fall down. Another cool thing might be to animate the next tile over to the cursor so you clearly see you placed a tile, and you clearly see which one is the next one. Small feedback like that is what makes or breaks a game i think :)
- Maybe the current tile should be semi transparent. This is again help with visual feedback, so you see what's underneath. I could be wrong about this, try it out and see how it looks/feels
- What is the difference between the levels? The starting position seems to be randomized, so when i retry a level it is not the same level. Initially i am thinking each level should be fixed with fixed set of tiles so that you can replay it and get better and better. In fact, that gives me an idea. You could have a LEET score or medal if a person manages to fill the entire screen. So the tiles provided make up a complete path on the whole screen only they are randomized. I believe Tetris does something like that
- It says "penalty" even when i complete a level. I understand why, but i think the player should be encouraged when he wins, i.e. say "penalty" when you remove the unused tiles, but after that there should be some winning ceremony. Although i don't like penalties much in games, and when used, they should be used in small quantities. In fact, there is nothing telling me if i should continue placing useless tiles while i am looking for what i need to make the path longer, or if i should stop and avoid placing bogus tiles everywhere. I'd say, skip the penalty for unused tiles, definitely. I think it is bad for the gameplay, and even brings the player down when he just completed a level.
- As RupeeClock said, the tile you want might never come. But i don't know, that could just be part of the challenge
- Instead of different colored tiles, maybe make it visual some other way that green tiles slow down the ball. So you can see the tiles purpose at first glance instead of needing to memorize the colors for next time you play it
- Playing with the stylus doesn't work so well. But i don't think there is much you can do about that. Ah, and hide the mouse pointer, and of course you should be able to start the game without stylus :)
- Of course, there are also more positive things :) The game looks great, and it works. I haven't found any bug and that is very important for the experience imo
- I love the level selection screen. Brilliant way of following through with the mechanics all the way

All in all, congratulation on what i think is the first (non-bennugd) game in the archives :)

/Uni
 

glezmen

Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2009
Messages
297
Uni: thanks for the detailed feedback!

RupeeClock, Uni, do you have a few minutes to try the new version?
changes:
- you won't get two of the same tile after each other
- queue animation
- changes in the cursor
- brighter images, so it's easier to recognize the dark tiles
0.9.1
 
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