There's just one or two things left on my to-do list for this, and one of those is to get feedback from some people who have never played this before.
So, I've been using this
lately as my forum avatar because I think it just looks so damn cool, but I figure I may as well now let the veritable cat out of the bag and double check to see what other people think of the actual game before thrusting it out into le monde réelWHAT THE HECK IS THIS??It's a maze game intended for mobile phones and tablets where you tilt the phone to move the ball around the maze to get to the exit (the green bubble thing).
It evolved out a thing I did for Ludum Dare last year under the theme "Tiny World" (which you can still play here
). Among the most commonly suggested improvements I got from there were "randomly generate everything" and "add time pressure". Also "pac man ghosts" was suggested, which I tried, and tried and tried, and just didn't really like it too much. Eventually, the whole thing simplified down to a basic maze game where you must find the exit as quick as you can..with randomly generated mazes wrapped around a cube. I just recently (like last night & this morning
) added a scoring mechanism that takes into account how fast you reached the goal, how far you had to go, and also how generally big the cube is. Do more & bigger mazes faster, get more points. This web player beta version is played using the direction keys.
On the phone you just tilt the phone around like one of those labyrinth maze toys (that's the idea, really). I think it feels a lot better on the phone, but since your PC most likely does not have accelerometer controls, the d-keys will have to do. They work. Just not quite as nice and fluid as tilting.
One thing that is still missing: high score. I was thinking of doing this as a table, but that wouldn't really make sense, as it's meant to be on a phone and not an arcade cabinet. A leaderboard is definitely something I'm thinking about, but have no idea how to implement properly, so it may have to wait until a little later. So I'm thinking, for now, just a basic "here's the best score anyone's ever gotten on this device" on the title screen should do the trick.
At the moment I am only releasing it for Android.
If there is enough interest (and I'm somehow able to cobble together enough cash for a Unity iOS Pro license and a test device slightly newer than my 2nd gen ipod touch), I could also put it out on iOS, too.Please let me know what you think.
I'm really interested to see what
semi-total strangers on the internet
other game designers have to say about this. Also if you happen to find anything that looks like a bug and want to tell me about how it happened, I'd be grateful.
- Added an options menu with sliders for rotation speed and volume, as well as a toggle for the tilting effect
- Lowered the default setting for rotation speed from 7 to 4
- attract mode shows rotation (mostly) as it appears in-game to give dynamic preview of rotation setting
- fixed a few bugs related to dirty state if transitioning between title screen and game very quickly
Had to restructure the game shell to accommodate the options menu and also fix a couple of subtle bugs with how the levels were initialized and how the main menu was integrated with the game. There's still a couple of other small things that I may get to either today or tomorrow, like the ball color contrast, and also adding some shaded backgrounds to the GUI so they stand out a little more.Updated 3/2/2013:
- added option sliders for customizing the ball's hue, saturation and value
- changed the sliders in the options menu to scrollbars for better thumb friendliness
- added a simple bar texture to the ball
- added some code to simulate how it would roll around, removed a hack from earlier that was preventing this
- made the options menu bigger and gave it a shaded background
- tweaked some font settings on the options menu labels
Thanks for all the feedback so far! Updated 8/4/2013:
I ran a bunch of real-world physical-device in-person playtesting at conferences, meetups, social gatherings, etc, and discovered some interesting things:
1) The randomly generated levels is kind of interesting, but needs something else in addition to or instead of it in order to be really cool.
2) People seem to get the maze concept pretty quickly.
3) The representation of the exit as a translucent green bubble is confusing to people and is a bug that must be fixed.
4) One question I get asked a lot is "did you design the levels?" to which I reply "no, they are all generated" which seems to elicit a "oh, cool" response. but since i can't be personally there for everyone else to play the game, i think the fact that all the levels are generated would need to be made more obvious to a general audience.
So, my thinking is that there is some design-level work that I still need to do for this to really be in a state where I would feel right about shipping it. that means like a whole other iteration of development, at least. so i'll probably get a dev log up for that. or move this thread over to dev log, then maybe come back here if/when i have something i'd like to hear some feedback on.
basically, this part of the game is pretty much baked. it's just that there's like an extra layer or two of gameplay that i think needs to be added on for it to be really interesting and engaging to play. i'll be coming back to this after having not really worked on it much for the past couple of months (long story), so adding this whole new layer to the game seems like the right way to go.