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TIGSource ForumsCommunityJams & EventsCompetitionsA Game by Its Cover[AGBIC] For The Twin [FINISHED]
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HybridMind
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« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2010, 07:31:31 am »

PLAY v0.1.8 IN YOUR BROWSER


7/3: v0.1.8 posted!

  • Added the 3rd creature type (6 more creatures added so 18 total right now)
  • Removed (annoying?) 10 second time audio/visual reminder
  • Made color fade in of creatures only go to 75% instead of 100% saturation (aesthetics)

v0.1.8 screenshot (3rd creature type!)


The 3rd creature type animation/design really cracks me up! 

Also as I add each creature variety I am finding the game more and more fun and interesting simply because of added visual excitement of not knowing which creatures you'll get on any given play through.  I think if I do support 5 types (with 6 subtypes in each) for a total of at least 30 creatures in total it will be visually interesting enough (for the base creatures anyway...)

Two more creature types to go.. (12 more creatures)
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Jonathan Whiting
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« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2010, 08:26:16 am »

Haha, the new creature type is ace.

One of the more interesting things I've been noticing playing this game is that I've been subconciously assigning a sex to the creatures, and using that to try and help scan faster.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2010, 08:36:35 am »

One of the more interesting things I've been noticing playing this game is that I've been subconciously assigning a sex to the creatures, and using that to try and help scan faster.

Haha! Yeah I've noticed myself and some of my friends have being doing that too. It's rather interesting the patterns or pet name's you try to use to help. It has been fun to design them to be sort of "vague" with certain sub types perhaps leaning one way or the other but in general I'm treating them like alien life.

Glad you like the new creature type!

I'm working on type four now.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2010, 10:50:44 am »

PLAY v0.1.9 IN YOUR BROWSER

7/3: v0.1.9 posted!

  • Added the 4th creature type (6 more creatures added so 24 total right now)
  • Fade in happens over 30 seconds not 45 now
  • Wrong click penalty is only 5 seconds now not 10

v0.1.9 screenshot (4th creature type!)


Alright.. so one more creature type left to add! (6 more creatures) and then I'll see where I'm going from there.  I think I'll get 5 music loops written next after I have all 5 creature types finished (30 total subtypes.)
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JMickle
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« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2010, 04:48:55 pm »

completed in 0:27 Smiley

good game, nice visuals and feel.
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LiquidAsh
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« Reply #45 on: July 05, 2010, 04:01:17 pm »

I especially like that last creature type.  The different animations really help the player sort out some of the closer looking types.  Have you tried moving them around the screen while their walking/bouncing?  It may not work at all, but I'd be curious to see.  Keep up the great work.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #46 on: July 05, 2010, 05:45:52 pm »

completed in 0:27 Smiley

good game, nice visuals and feel.

Thank you! Good time you got there too!

I especially like that last creature type.  The different animations really help the player sort out some of the closer looking types.  Have you tried moving them around the screen while their walking/bouncing?  It may not work at all, but I'd be curious to see.  Keep up the great work.

I haven't tried moving them yet but I was thinking that with all their wiggling around I may be able to get around with them hopping left and right occasionally without having to do more animations.  I have already drawn 24 3-frame creatures (with at least 6 more on the way of the last subtype) so I'd rather dodge that workload bullet perhaps if I can... trying to not let the scope of this game get too far out of control.

Thanks for trying it though and leaving your feedback.

I'll be drawing the last creature subtype tomorrow and starting work on composing 5 different short music themes for each creature.  Then it will be final thoughts on any game mechanics additions or modes / unlockable modes perhaps too.
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Hangedman
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« Reply #47 on: July 05, 2010, 05:51:16 pm »

Nice, simple, smooth, and functional. I kind of wish there were simple backgrounds, as it looks a little bland.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #48 on: July 06, 2010, 05:40:02 am »

Nice, simple, smooth, and functional. I kind of wish there were simple backgrounds, as it looks a little bland.

I've been trying to imagine what backgrounds would work well with how much movement the foreground has as well as it being a game about visual recognition.  On one hand I like the minimalism of it blank but I need to at least try some things to see how they work.  It's on my todo list for sure.  Thanks for leaving your thoughts.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #49 on: July 06, 2010, 08:21:53 am »

YOU CAN PLAY HERE IN BROWSER

7/6: v0.2.1 posted!

  • Added the 5th creature type (30 total subtypes right now)
  • The 5 creature types will always appear twice currently during the 10 levels
  • Slightly adjusted creature amounts and scalings across the 10 levels

v0.2.1 screenshot (5th creature type!)


OK so finished 30 different creature subtypes now! Phew... it was fun but definitely need a little breather from all this drawing of wiggly creatures.

I am starting to think about building some themed level "packs" of 10 levels each where I can introduce various mechanics but always keep the strain to the player only having to play 10 levels at any one time.  Each pack can keep track of best time with maybe even a combined best across all packs.

Ideas of themes include:

'Total Noise' (levels pick from all creature types at random.. thinking this might even be easiest theme to start with)

'Homogeneous' (levels only feature one creature type (like game is currently actually) this will probably be the second hardest

'Movement' (let the creatures randomly move around a little bit)

'Cluster' (let the creatures overlap more so that the player will have to surgically destroy them perhaps if they might obscure the target twin.  Will have to figure out if penalty still applies or not... this would likely be an advanced level pack)

'Distractions' (whether I have introduced backgrounds yet to the main game or not.. this would feature more troublesome distractions to make it tough to concentrate... once again a harder level pack to complete)

The basic idea might be that initially only one level pack is unlocked.. and in order to unlock each subsequent pack you either have to beat a certain lowest time (tough to balance perhaps... BUT... ) or play each pack some small number of times at least (like.. 3) so that even if you aren't very fast you can still get to the next pack without having to grind at all.  Would likely try to feature ratings/medals or some such to indicate how well you did each level.

Could perhaps even have leaderboards for the individual level packs as well as the combined score once you have unlocked and played them all.  Would let players revisit and lower their time on different level packs to affect overall time too.

Well that is sorta what I've been thinking a bit as I've been drawing.  It also means I might make the music I compose themed to the level packs and not to the individual creatures since if I mix up off-type creatures the theme idea doesn't make sense.
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HybridMind
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« Reply #50 on: July 07, 2010, 02:16:58 pm »

PLAY IN YOUR BROWSER HERE

7/7: v0.2.5 posted!

  • Reworked the UI
  • Added completely new puzzle mode of Perspective based levels
  • Added 10 unique backgrounds for Perspective mode
  • Altered the fade ins of the creatures and the backgrounds
  • Made some performance improvements on zooming in at level end

v0.2.5 screenshot (New Perspective based puzzle mode!)


Right now it is locked on Perspective mode puzzle types only in case anyone wants to leave me feedback on those.

Tomorrow I will be adding the level mode system and restoring the ability to play Flat mode puzzles. I need to create 10 flat mode backgrounds as well to match the 10 Perspective mode backgrounds I created today.

Well it's coming along anyway...
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Jonathan Whiting
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« Reply #51 on: July 07, 2010, 10:24:32 pm »

Wow, you have been busy.  The new mode looks great, as do the backgrounds.  It's feeling seriously slick Smiley
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HybridMind
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« Reply #52 on: July 09, 2010, 06:48:34 am »

Wow, you have been busy.  The new mode looks great, as do the backgrounds.  It's feeling seriously slick Smiley

Thanks so much! Big update about to be posted here representing the past 2 days work...
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HybridMind
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« Reply #53 on: July 09, 2010, 06:49:12 am »

PLAY v0.2.6 HERE IN YOUR BROWSER

7/9: v0.2.6 posted!

  • Created 10 animating backgrounds for use during "Flat" challenge modes
  • Made backgrounds not repeat during a particular challenge
  • Implemented a new main menu (still work in progress)
  • Implemented a new challenge select menu (work in progress.. horrible text content still)
  • Implemented a level complete screen with stats
  • Each challenge (3 of 6 finished so far) has it's own global leaderboard
  • Created challenge unlocking system (all 3 challenges are currently unlocked though in this test version)
  • Created save/load challenge data system to keep track of player stats for all challenges
  • Made 3 challenges currently (Flat mode with no animating backgrounds, Flat mode with animating backgrounds, Perspective mode with landscape backgrounds)

v0.2.6 screenshot (10 New Animating Flat Mode Backgrounds!)


v0.2.6 screenshot (Challenge Select Menu!)


Whoa so I've been putting crazy hours into this game the past few days.  I'd love to hear any feedback people might have on how the new challenge modes are coming.  The challenge select screen names and descriptions are AWFUL right now and will totally need to not be "programmer descriptive" before it is finished.

I've left the 3 current challenge modes unlocked currently too. Supports individual leaderboards for each challenge mode right now as well and the game tracks all your stats locally for your progress.

I'm trying to wrap up the remaining 3 challenges (for at least 6.. maybe there will be more) today.

I still need to write a bunch of music loops.

I recommend playing to your favorite upbeat music or chiptunes as that is what I was going for with the animation pacing/pulsing I've been creating.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 06:54:00 am by HybridMind » Logged

LiquidAsh
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« Reply #54 on: July 09, 2010, 07:20:02 am »

Great work, this is really coming along nicely!  I really like the perspective mode, but didn't care so much for the animated backgrounds.  The backgrounds seemed a distraction at first, but because they are all color and the creatures are b&w it's pretty easy to ignore them.  I think they could be made more difficult to ignore, by mixing in some higher frequency black and white distractors.  I'm not convinced this would be much more fun though(?).

Also, I couldn't put my finger on this before but: it would be really nice to show the wrongly clicked distractors next to the target one.  This would help the player see what they chose wrongly, and avoid the "hey what was wrong with that choice" confusion.  Maybe you could even draw the last wrong distractor in red beneath the target to make this more clear.

One final suggestion, is that it might be cool to have one creature per section that only appears in one level.  So in addition to looking for the current level's twin, you are looking for a section twin that is only hidden in one of the levels.

All of these sugestions are of course motivated by how well your game's coming together.  Keep up the great work!
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« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2010, 07:29:10 am »

Just posted a tweak so the game is v0.2.6.1 now.

Made a quick change because of major performance issues I noticed on my older test laptop. Backgrounds and creatures currently won't be color transforming until I can further determine what the heck is up with the lag!  ugh.

Liquid Ash I'll respond soon but I have to eat something or I'll fall over...  Shocked
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HybridMind
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« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2010, 06:37:19 pm »

Great work, this is really coming along nicely!  I really like the perspective mode, but didn't care so much for the animated backgrounds.  The backgrounds seemed a distraction at first, but because they are all color and the creatures are b&w it's pretty easy to ignore them.

Thanks for playing and leaving your feedback! My intent with the animating backgrounds isn't solely one of distraction but also just to add to the visual interest (hopefully) for the player. Some of them are designed to be a bit more distracting than others for sure though. This game has been interesting to think of mechanics because I've noticed a wide disparity in feedback from players as to which style of challenges they find easy/hard. It has a lot to do with however the player handles pattern recognition and noise suppression in their own way.

I think they could be made more difficult to ignore, by mixing in some higher frequency black and white distractors.  I'm not convinced this would be much more fun though(?).

I had this on my potential todo list. To confirm you mean like for example little wiggling spots, blobs, detritus that would also be in black and white and their for distraction right? In my notes I have an intention that I would use odd objects like (for example: streetlamps.. trashcans.. benchs.. etc) but that would be wiggling and rendered in the odd alien style I'm already using. I'd definitely only use that as a later challenge difficulty I'd imagine.

Also, I couldn't put my finger on this before but: it would be really nice to show the wrongly clicked distractors next to the target one.  This would help the player see what they chose wrongly, and avoid the "hey what was wrong with that choice" confusion.  Maybe you could even draw the last wrong distractor in red beneath the target to make this more clear.

I would be worried about UI clutter though as there is already such a premium on visual real estate. I'll think about it but I am expecting the player (who actually wants to play more than once) will begin to quickly grasp the creature types as I have seen a bunch of the in person players who have played 10+ times start to do and enjoy. It seems players have been having fun coming up with their own reminder names to reduce the noise / enhance the search pattern. I'll keep it in mind though in case I think of a way to put it in.

One final suggestion, is that it might be cool to have one creature per section that only appears in one level.  So in addition to looking for the current level's twin, you are looking for a section twin that is only hidden in one of the levels.

Like a bonus creature? I had some notes about a possible bonus creature mechanic that I believe is maybe what you are getting at.  Wasn't sure what you meant by a 'section twin' unless you are just using the word 'twin' for 'creature'.  Would the bonus creature always look the same maybe or be shown ahead of time?  If I'd have to show a second bonus creature in the UI all the time that might be problematic... but I was consider some kind of thing like this to do bonus...

Bonus Example: Each creature could have the potential for what I think of as a 'bonus tell' where if the player is watching closely perhaps they blink or quickly open and shut their mouth or some other twitch that is subtle but that if the player sees it they would get bonus.

The whole issue of bonus brings up another concern of mine in that what do I do in a time based game? Simply deduct time?  Makes me wonder if I shouldn't try to come up with a score metric but I like the elegance and non-abstraction of it being real world seconds so players can imagine the speed/skill of other players on the leaderboards.  I guess I would just consider it like a 20 sec bonus off your time (or some number etc.)

Here are some other challenge ideas I was pondering and I welcome feedback on these (I'll start with the ones I have)

CHALLENGE IDEAS: (roughly in order of potential difficulty)

1) STATIC FLAT - Creatures increase in number and decrease in size appearing over flat non-animating backgrounds.

2) PERSPECTIVE - Creature increase in number but are scaled and scattered in perspective over landscape backgrounds. Overlaps occurring cause player to have to look closely to see which identifiable pieces of creatures are sticking out and have to use process of elimination to find the twin.

3) ANIMATING FLAT - Creatures increase in number and decrease in size appearing over flat animating backgrounds. The animating backgrounds add visual interest and a small level of distraction/noise.

4) MOVEMENT BASED - The creatures can start to hop around a bit left and right. I'm thinking this should be over the perspective landscape backgrounds for best affect.

5) NOISE - So far creatures have been homogeneous. In this challenge mode the creatures are pooled from all 30 subtypes. I've tested this and it offers a different kind of search and fun. I'd make this back to using flat animating backgrounds again.

6) HARDEST (RANDOM?) - In this mode the creatures would move, (potentially) be non-homogeneous, and the twin and target wouldn't be keep on a consistent axis like all previous levels. The axis flipping should prove to be fairly difficult because I was nice up until this point by always aligning the goal/target the same. This would be on the perspective backgrounds again. Seems I'm flip flopping background type every challenge mode and I like that for variety. I might make it randomly alternate flat/perspective too as well as mixed/non-mixed.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2010, 05:25:33 am by HybridMind » Logged

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« Reply #57 on: July 09, 2010, 08:45:52 pm »

Nice game!  One of my favorite parts is when you get it right, and all of the creatures start smiling.  It really gives the game a warm, fuzzy vibe.

As others have said, this could definitely do with a soundtrack.  I think something with a classical feel would work well.
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« Reply #58 on: July 09, 2010, 09:42:23 pm »

To confirm you mean like for example little wiggling spots, blobs, detritus that would also be in black and white and their for distraction right?

Yes, Squigly alien benches, trashcans, and street lamps sound cool!

Like a bonus creature? ... Would the bonus creature always look the same maybe or be shown ahead of time?

I was suggesting one creature for a series to 10 levels (section, and yes twin=creature).  I was thinking it would only be in one of those 10 levels, so that it would be pretty challenging to find and also more rewarding.  I like your ideas about bonus creatures too.  I like the idea of giving the player some opportunities to stumble upon good fortune while searching.

The whole issue of bonus brings up another concern of mine in that what do I do in a time based game?

Deducting time sounds fine.  Otherwise maybe you could change up the target they are looking for when they guess correctly (or possibly after a few incorrect guesses, or after too much time has elapses).  While bringing in a new target creature, you could also shuffle/add/remove creatures from the field.
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« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2010, 09:43:08 pm »

The game's really coming along. It's quite fun, though it hurts my eyes a little. @.@
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