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1055643 Posts in 42869 Topics- by 34800 Members - Latest Member: reinfeldx

October 21, 2014, 05:37:07 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackPlaytestingLine: A One-Dimensional Game
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Sloth
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« on: February 07, 2011, 09:28:09 PM »

'How about a 1-D shooter? All you do is move along a line and shoot... No aiming, no dodging, nothing.'
'Sounds pretty terrible.'
'Er... Yeah...'

Thus began an interesting sequence of thoughts. Is it possible to make an enjoyable 1-D game? Just how much can you take out of a game before it isn't fun anymore?

Turns out, you can remove pretty much everything.
(Also, designing for 1-D is pretty much the most horrible experience ever.)

This is LINE.

A small suite of minimalistic, one-dimensional games, developed over the course of a week or so. We limited ourselves to a monochromatic palette, pong-style sound and graphics, and only 3 control buttons for each game. We're interested to see what people think, as what we found out during development was that making a one-dimensional game fun, without turning it into a rhythm game, is rather challenging.

The 3 games are called (rather pretentiously Gentleman), 'L', 'I' and 'N' ('E' is reserved for exit Wink). We're pretty happy with the design of 'L' and 'N', but 'I' needs some pretty heavy work done to it in order to make it, well, fun.



We made it in Java, so the file is a runnable .jar that you can find here. The code can also be found in this zip, here.

It's a pretty small game, which was only finished recently, so we're mainly looking for feedback and suggestions. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: February 07, 2011, 10:26:08 PM by Sloth » Logged
Konidias
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« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2011, 10:55:45 PM »

Surprisingly fun. Smiley I enjoyed the "N" game the most. Though there's a few bugs with it... like sometimes if I had a small gap and I ran up against it, I would get stuck when I tried to move away from it. I'd have to hit the opposite direction key several times to get "unstuck" and it definitely killed my game a few times getting stuck.

Also had a bug where after I lose the level, the buzz noise repeats for infinity... which is super duper annoying.

The "L" game, while functional, didn't really have the same fun to me... Was a bit too difficult for me to judge the distance for some reason..

The "I" game, as you said, needs some work... since you can basically just spam all 3 options and get pretty far.

Overall, pretty interesting 1-D game. I think it would be even more interesting if you were to polish this up a lot... Like do way over the top graphics and sounds and stuff. I know it sounds weird, but I think it'd be neat to see such a simple game with way overblown visuals. Grin

I think it would be interesting to combine all 3 concepts somehow... Like certain enemies you have to shoot, others you have to jump, others you have to drop in gaps. There's a lot you can do with it... like maybe there is an enemy you can only shoot from one side, so you have to jump it to shoot it from that side. Adding in jumping along with gaps means you wouldn't be stuck moving against gaps, but you could jump *into* the gap and lose... But I think the jump should be the same distance and you'd only need one key. That would make things a bit easier as far as determining the distance you could jump each time.
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iffi
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« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 11:05:33 PM »

The title of this thread and the beginning of the post reminded me of Wolfenstein 1D, which is quite a strange variant of Wolfenstein if you ask me.

I enjoyed "L" and "N" ("N" especially), but I agree that "I" needs work - there doesn't seem to be any real strategy to it, and all you really need to do is press the correct buttons as the shapes appear. I can't really say what would make it more fun, but if it doesn't already do so, you could make it speed up over time.
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Sloth
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« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2011, 11:06:34 PM »

Yeah, we've found the sound bug before, will try to fix it soon. Makes the game super-annoying. Outraged

Glad you enjoyed N Smiley. We played around with the idea of having shadows in L that would let you see where you would land after each jump, but it got too cluttered. It's something we could do with a graphical re-pimping, though, which is something we might try once the gameplay itself is more fine-tuned. Some of the people we tested it on (non-gamers) took ages to actually notice that the different keys jumped you forward different distances, though, so something is definitely wrong as it stands now.

'I' is... well, we're thinking of redoing it completely, but the main concept we want to keep is that of the player stuck on the left side, and the opponent stuck on the right side, and the interaction happening in-between them.
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Danboe
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« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2011, 12:58:38 PM »

I enjoyed "N" the most aswell, since it offered some strategic gameplay, "L" is also fun and works well, I had a hard time with "I" though since it's hard to identify what's what. Nevertheless well done!  Smiley
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Falmil
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 10:37:38 AM »

I think I liked the idea of I the best, but could not tell what each color was or what color needed to be used on it effectively. I think varying by length could help to identify them better.
N reminded me of a GameBoy game I had as a kid, Boomer's Adventure in ASMIK World, where you dig holes, wait for enemies to fall in, and then bury them alive. Kinda creepy to realize as an adult, now that I think about it.
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tesselode
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 12:44:14 PM »

I didn't like N very much, but L and I were kind of fun. L is actually one of the first things I thought of when you were talking about one-dimensional games. I was probably the best game (huh, it sounds like I'm referring to myself). It might be improved by having a cooldown for using an attack instead of only having one on the screen at once, because then the game either goes nowhere or you lose really fast.

Edit: Never mind, I just realized that some colors will go through other colors. That makes things a lot more fun.
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jivald
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 01:25:13 AM »

The games could have an scoring option. For example, in L it could be more rewarding staying closer to the right edge, stringing togheter jumps in combos, the smaller jumps could be worth more or jumping over two boxes at the same time could add a bonus.
In 'N' the boxes could still "take damage", i.e. become smaller, even if the gap is too small.
I like the minimalist style, but 'I' could do well with a more grapich interface. For example, you could make the boxes red, blue or green, wich would put them on a more equal footing (I feel white is much stronger than grey and dark grey). Also, in it's current style the game doesn't feel perfectly analogous to Rock Paper Scissors because it is more intuitive to fire a block of the same colour (wich in RPS would equal a tie).
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HyperNexus
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 05:32:13 PM »

I really like these games. Simple, clean and elegant, attributes that I love to see in games. I also ran into the annoying sound bug. Sad

L was great. It might be worth considering adding colors to the enemies based upon how fast they are traveling. This could help make the game much more readable. I love the mechanic in which your recession speed is slowed once you get hit.

I was the weakest of all of the games. It suffers from the fact that the graphics are so simple and that reading different shades of grey is harder than reading different colors. I think just adding colors would greatly improve the readability of the game.

N was definitely my favorite of the three. I enjoyed how bad decisions early on could hurt you later but you still had the chance to recover from them. Sort of like life in a way, you may be onto a good metaphor there.

I also had a quick peak at your source code. I find it pretty nifty when people make Java games using only the bare essentials. Java has a min and a max function that you can use, so you don't need your own.
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kidchameleon
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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2011, 01:54:21 PM »

Ha, very interesting idea, I found the jumping game and a paper rock scissors the most enjoyable. Well done.
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