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December 21, 2014, 03:13:02 PM
TIGSource ForumsCommunityTownhallBlock Towers - v1.0 released!
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Author Topic: Block Towers - v1.0 released!  (Read 18900 times)
JLJac
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« on: September 04, 2009, 06:14:54 AM »

Dear community, I present to you:
BLOCK TOWERS
A JLJ game of the summer 2009!



Have some friends over! Call your brother in from the other room! Take an USB-stick to school for some stressed-out lunchbreak action! Download Block Towers!
When WHFF is down hopefully MSN is up, you can also download it here.
NEW VERSION v1.0!

Check out the video!



So, this is a multiplayer game for 2-4 players sitting on the same computer. It's an action platformer with puzzle elements, and it's about building block towers, as the title suggests. Aaand a screenshot:



The game has loads of special blocks and special moves and special features, but mainly it's based around a simple idea. Actually I was a bit inspired by that article Paul Eres wrote some time ago about agressive games(about destroying stuff) and tending games(about building stuff). The games from when I was little that I remember the most had both elements, you both build and destroy in a fine balance. I wanted to create something like that. Also it has a very clear element of stress that I always enjoy in games. Artist's statement out.

Let's finish with another screenshot:



 Hand Shake Left Grin
« Last Edit: November 22, 2009, 09:59:14 PM by JLJac » Logged
ChevyRay
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« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2009, 02:34:21 PM »

Whaaaat?!

Looks cool, but I demand at least a video for this to count as an announcement, JLJac Grin So give us one!

The concept sounds very neat, too.
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JLJac
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2009, 11:44:50 AM »

Nah, a vid seems unecessary since the real thing is coming now. Try it out!

To the next guy who downloads this, how does the icon of the .exe appear to you? Is it just a standard icon or is it a little block as supposed to? I'm stuck on this single laptop right now so I can't try stuff out as I'd like to.
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AuthenticKaizen
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2009, 01:04:35 PM »

nice graphics, smooth engine, fine controls, good work!

could be really fun with a few buddys!

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JLJac
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« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 12:30:51 AM »

Thanks! Actually the engine was the most interesting part of this game to work on, since it's made in a way I've never worked before. The physics and collision are tile-based vertically but analogue/floaty horizontally Huh? Worked pretty well for this game though :D

About that icon, how'd it look?
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 05:13:31 AM »

Yay! JLJac game!

I think the Block Icon should have some Red. Right now it looks a little generic, kinda nondescript. Give it a Sun or a Circle or something.

Luckily, I had my brother here, we had a game. Is fun! A little chaotic, that's cool. Looks great! I love all the little details - especially the birds ferrying bricks (and the players!). Having to shift focus from building your own tower and taking down your opponent's tower is a really elegant way of keeping things interesting. Gotta be tactical to get to the top. The powerup system is kind of mysterious, but we liked that. It's nice to combine 4 bricks at semi-random and have SOMETHING happen. Like gold bricks raining from the sky.

We also spent some time on the title screen - initially annoying each other and then co-operating to build towers. We'll give it another go soon. Pretty damn awesome.

 Beer!
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Loren Schmidt
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« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 08:26:24 PM »

This seems pretty neat.

I ran into one bug that kept me from playing sustainably. I got through the main menu, and was in the game, and then spontaneously I got this error:
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/8607/ss20090910212049.png
It seemed to happen when one player died.

Anyway, I look forward to getting a chance to play the game for longer. It looks really slick, and I like the idea a lot.
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battlerager
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« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2009, 01:04:52 PM »

This looks fantastic, but I'll have to wait for my brother to return before I can give it a whirl. Sad
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JLJac
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2009, 12:46:21 PM »

@Gainsworthy, I'm glad you liked it! I'll put some red on the icon in v1.0, promise. The power up system can be figured out, though it takes some time to learn. Give it another go, you'll see that more stuff unlocks after a while.

@Sparky, hm it seems my director applications and your computer doesn't go together very well. This is the same as that last file I sent you, and your computer is the only one I know of where this happens, actually. That window on your pic isn't the alert window of my application, it seems to be some kind of external debugger of yours. Check this out, this is about disabling that debugger, maybe you'll have better luck without it: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/vsdebug/thread/a52eb0ae-bcd8-4043-9661-d5fc3aa5167c/ If you have time we could continue this PM-wise, would appreciate if you could tell me a little about that debugger Hand Thumbs Up Right

@battlerager, tell me what you thought!
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Afinostux
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2009, 02:22:22 PM »

I just played this game for almost an hour with my brother. It is awesome.
AWESOM THING:
love the way it shows the respawn timer with the birds and such
the art rocks
building a strategically sound block fort is awesome
sniping an opponent's stack of powerup blocks with a well placed throw :D
We played it until we needed to stop because we were hungry.

FAEL THING:
we were playing on gamepads, and selecting rematch reset all our bindings. Going through the menu worked fine
Hitting a player with a block from above while they do the stomp makes them move so fast they seem to move through blocks
I got blown insanely far off the side of the screen by an inconveniently timed bomb (and cannon hit at the same time Screamy), and it took like 5 minutes for the bird to fly back

I will be recommending this game to everyone I know.
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JLJac
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« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2009, 11:21:49 PM »

Thank you! The issues you describe are being fixed, though I don't really get the first one, with the rematch. What happens? It resets your buttons? I can't repeat it Huh? If someone else is encountering this, please tell.

Also, to those of you that have played a few matches, do you think the new elements(iron blocks, jump blocks, shadow blocks) show up too slow? I've been seriously considering making them appear after much fewer played games. Right now it takes 15 matches to unlock all features in the game, what about putting that down to let's say 8? Or would you be overwhelmed by all the new stuff?
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« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2009, 11:29:40 PM »

Thank you! The issues you describe are being fixed, though I don't really get the first one, with the rematch. What happens? It resets your buttons? I can't repeat it Huh? If someone else is encountering this, please tell.
Found out what it is. If you make changes to the controls without closing the program, the changes are reversed when the next match ends. I managed to reproduce it on two other computers.
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Gainsworthy
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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2009, 12:22:56 AM »

Thank you! The issues you describe are being fixed, though I don't really get the first one, with the rematch. What happens? It resets your buttons? I can't repeat it Huh? If someone else is encountering this, please tell.

Also, to those of you that have played a few matches, do you think the new elements(iron blocks, jump blocks, shadow blocks) show up too slow? I've been seriously considering making them appear after much fewer played games. Right now it takes 15 matches to unlock all features in the game, what about putting that down to let's say 8? Or would you be overwhelmed by all the new stuff?

 Mock Anger

I KNEW those things weren't showing up in the earlier games! Rad. Haven't played fifteen games yet. I think. Almost fifteen, though.

Now, per-so-nally, I actually Like staggered elements. It's nice to be gradually surprised with new things. And also, yes, overwhelming is possible.

Also, cannons are awesome.

Also also, literally running out of blocks on one's tower due to aggression at a stratospheric level is hilarious. And leads to me yelling requests for a spare block from my brother. He does not accept.

 Beer!
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JLJac
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« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2009, 10:09:38 PM »

OK, so I open the program, set the controls of player 1 and 2 to joystick 1 and 2, change some of the buttons, and then start a game. I let one player lose, and then I select rematch. The changes to the buttons are still there Huh? Am I doing it wrong?

About requests for spare blocks, in my experience they are most often not declined, though the blocks are most often delivered at too high velocities and at too vicious angles Evil

The tower running out when you throw too much appeared to be a good feature to balance stuff, you throw a lot you get low on the screen. It's especially clear with the all-moons-powerup, when people get that they tend to throw like crazy until they die by the good old standing on a half off-screen block and picking it up :D

Also: I put this little linkie thingie in my sig, to promote this!

 Beer!
« Last Edit: September 14, 2009, 10:15:09 PM by JLJac » Logged
Afinostux
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« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2009, 06:28:19 AM »

OK, so I open the program, set the controls of player 1 and 2 to joystick 1 and 2, change some of the buttons, and then start a game. I let one player lose, and then I select rematch. The changes to the buttons are still there Huh? Am I doing it wrong?
You would appear to be doing it exactly right. My guess is that it's a vista permissions thing or something. It's happened mostly with freshly installed versions. It might be too uncommon to worry about, though.
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JLJac
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« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2009, 06:55:39 AM »

I'm on vista as well, so it can't be that... But anyhow, here's a version that that saves to the settings.txt whenever you start a game, maybe that will solve it.

Also, now containing the feature of knocking a block out of the other player's hands! Please download the new version!

http://willhostforfood.com/?Action=download&fileid=84740
(I have also changed the download link in the main post)

If you don't want to do the tutorial again, just open cntr.txt and set the number in the brackets to something between 10 and 15 or however many macthes you think you have played.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 08:12:46 AM by JLJac » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2009, 05:18:47 PM »

This is really fun... But I'm not sure I like the "play 15 levels to get all the stuff" thing. I dunno. I have played this 40 games at a time (while I was suppose to be doing homework) but I also plan to play this on my lunch break at school, and despite how amazingly skilled I am, I don't think I can win 15 games fast enough to really enjoy jumpies and bg blocks.
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JLJac
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« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2009, 08:17:31 PM »

You can open the file cntr.txt and change the number within it to 15. Then the game will think that you have played 15 games.
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« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2009, 09:01:49 PM »

Oh cool. Thanks!
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JLJac
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« Reply #19 on: September 17, 2009, 10:34:50 PM »

So, I have some questions that I'd love to get some feedback on. The game took me like several weeks strict on-computer-time(maybe not entirely true) to create, so the effort it takes for you to answer these questions isn't really all that bad in comparison, you get what I mean?

Has anyone had a gaming session with three or four players? I've only got the chance to test this for short periods of time during unsatisfying conditions, so honestly I don't know if it works very well. I put it in the game because of "why not". Does it work?

The green, pink and orange block, do they make it better or are they just plain irritating?

Is the game running slow on anyone's computer? What's your stats?

I have moved back to the solitary life of my city apartment now, and all my friends have gone to school in different cities far away. If someone could make a video of a match played at a desently high skill-level I would be eternally thankful, for ever. And even then the thankfullness wouldn't stop.
http://camstudio.org/

I make this post because soon I'll make it v1.0. So, if there's anything in general that you would like me to fix, speek out.

Cheers Beer!

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