Although the intro text does tell you, in-game it wasn't clear whether I should be sending good robots to the exit or bad. I was kinda expecting two exits. Possibly the first level could do with more detailed onscreen instructions/icons to make these things clear.
I could definitely do that. I'll add it to the list.
The introduction could probably do with some music.
My first assumption was that the numbers next to the components were a count of how many times I could use that object, not a hotkey. Not sure how to clarify this though.
did the exact same thing, and I reacted the exact same way. Not sure there's anything to be done.
I didn't initially like the use of keyboard controls to control the orientation of the components, but I got used to it fairly quickly. The arrow keys should work as well as wasd.
The testing speed should default to what you last chose. And maybe if you fail a test it should run that test first the next time you test?
In earlier versions of the game (unreleased), the speed defaulted in that way, but I removed it for technical reasons. Shouldn't take too much work to add back in...
The writer components need an introduction. They make the levels completely different because the aim is now to manipulate the symbols rather than pass/fail the input state.
Absolutely. It's planned.
It took a very long time to work out what to do in the Chauffeurs level, just because the instructions weren't clear enough. An example of the correct output for a simple input would go a long way. Also it should be explicitly stated that the input symbols will only be red or blue.
Literally everyone who's gotten to Chauffeurs has complained about it, and with good reason. It's getting changed.
The music stopped playing after a while.
I've heard that from others as well. Not sure what's going on there... I'll poke at it a bit and see what I can find out.
The red/blue symbols could be different shapes so that colour-blind people can distinguish them. You would also need to
I... should really have thought of that.
I really like it, but I suspect for anyone who's not taken an automata class it'll be ridiculously difficult. It's pretty difficult for me even though I have, though fortunately that makes it fairly satisfying to solve a level.
By some freak chance, most of my playtesters had
taken automata classes. Some hadn't, though, and they didn't seem to have as much trouble as you'd think. It's an educational tool!
Very interesting idea. Personally, I thought it was rather hard. It took me about twenty minutes to get past the second level.
The UI is nice; the only thing I would suggest is being able to press Ctrl+LMB to decrease the testing speed, so you don't have to click through a few speeds to get to slow it down if you get to a specific item you want to see.
I agree that there should probably be a way to slow it down without clicking through; I don't like the idea of adding the ctrl-modifier as another arbitary hotkey to memorize, though. I'll have to think about it. (The simplest solution might be to remove
a speed; that would make things much simpler...)
I also think some of the levels dealing with binary are going to be difficult for those without computer science backgrounds. But then again, you may not be targeting this audience. I do really like how you work your way from doing seemingly arbitrary tasks to actually accomplishing real computing problems, though. I could see this being used in an educational context.
I would say that I'm targeting people with a computer science background first
, and then people without, once I polish enough. ...if that made any sense? I'm not sure.
The educational idea has come to mind; I consider Manufactoria to be a sort of 'stealth-education', teaching you about useful things without even telling you!
That is the best sort of education. (Education isn't the primary design goal, but it's a nice bonus.)
I am not exactly sure how to do it, but if you could give more feedback on why a given machine doesn't work and if you could give more detailed instructions for people that may not be as familiar with some of the concepts, you would improve it quite a bit.
I think you're right, and that's something I'll try to work on. For level feedback, perhaps I could make the correct destination flash when a robot entered the level, and make it flash again if you fail...? With something more sophisticated for output levels, naturally...
Anyway! Thanks to everyone for playing; I feed, vampire-like, upon your struggles. Even more thanks to everyone who offered feedback: my chitinous frame grows strong and terrible as I suck the marrow from your suggestions. Throughout development, I've had a pretty quick turnaround time on suggestions, so don't be surprised if you load up the game later today and see some of them implemented; others will take longer, naturally. Thank you again!