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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsDeCalc [Beta build!]
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Author Topic: DeCalc [Beta build!]  (Read 3135 times)
Frooxius
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« on: March 29, 2013, 06:02:03 AM »

Hello,
I started working on a new puzzle minigame for multiple platforms called DeCalc.

DeCalc is calculator reversed! You get the result and you have to make the appropriate expression by arranging, dragging and pressing the right buttons at the right time!

Watch the latest gameplay preview video here:




------------------

DeCalc went to beta now, meaning most features are complete and levels are designed.

Watch beta preview here:



    
Windows/Linux/Mac Beta builds here
Unity Webplayer version of the Beta is here.
I'll be glad for more feedback!

Here are some notes and instructions:
Quote
**** FEEDBACK I'M LOOKING FOR ****
- In-game bugs
- Feedback about graphic design and effects
  (do they look nice, do they fit the theme, are they annoying?)
- Feedback about level difficulty (especially Endless game mode and arcade)
  and general gameplay
- Gameplay element suggestions if you think of some (there are a few that are
  not used in the included levels yet)
- Is the in-game tutorial understandable and explains the concepts well enough?
- Do you get stuck on some levels?
- Are the new features and special buttons easy to understand?
- How fun are individual modes?
- What's your score on Endless/Arcade mode in various difficulties?
  
**** SOME INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTES ****
- All game modes work - try play casual first to learn the mechanics, then
   try endless and arcade
  - New Game / Continue / Level Select start a series of handmade levels
    - The game contains 50 levels, that will be part of the first release of the game
    - There's in-game tutorial
  - Endless Mode and Arcade mode - uses a random level generator
    - All difficulties work, but I appreciate feedback on them
- Level Editor is just for me, it won't be part of the finished game

If you're interested about the development, here's a development blog
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLoAvz0_U4_3wa5P_8tgdzM1kbE2uYveMT

I'll keep you posted on the updates and I'll welcome any feedback and support :-)
« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:46:21 AM by Frooxius » Logged
Frooxius
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 10:31:22 AM »

No feedback at all? :-(
I made a new video with a few simpler levels, I hope it will make the principle of the game clear  I'll upload web-player soon.



!
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tchassin
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 11:48:10 AM »

I'm not exactly into this kind of game, but it is a bit easy to loose track of the button order. Maybe you could have them highlight in order or something, so the player do not forget it.
I don't know if you planned it, but you should introduce new buttons the first time they appear.
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Frooxius
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 12:23:46 PM »

Thanks for the feedback.

Yes, I'm planning to implement a button order hint as well as well as a helper that will explain new features as they're introduced.
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psyguy
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 04:54:45 PM »

Have you thought about providing a few different color themes for play... er... learners to choose from?  Wink  In the video I watched, I felt like the teal outlines on the buttons made the white font color a little hard to see.

It does look interesting.  Are you planning on making the levels manually, or do you have plans to incorporate some sort of automatically-generation lavels / equations?
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Frooxius
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2013, 03:08:00 PM »

The colors are chosen randomly each level from a small pool of 8 distinct colors. Well the be precise the colors are used to denote different pathways and restrict some buttons only to specific pathways.

I'm not sure what video and outlines specifically are you referring to though?

Thanks though. It will actually feature both - manually designed levels and level generator for the time attack or arcade more (like an infinite continuous set of levels), because some interesting, but specific level designs can't really be generated randomly on any sane level of the generator sophistication.
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pluckyporcupine
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« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2013, 03:23:34 PM »

This is an interesting concept. At the beginning of the simpler levels video, I was wondering how complex it could really get but it seemed to get decently complex relatively quickly. I didn't watch the whole thing, as I got the gist of it, but I have a concern that the only way it'll really get difficult past a certain point is by making long pathways or making sure that there are a lot of nodes for the pathway to be generated through.
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Frooxius
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2013, 08:03:21 AM »

Thanks. The testing levels get complex quickly, I've since made some more to not overwhelm the player and raise the difficulty gradually.

Pathways don't necessarily have to have long points, there are several elements that will complicate even shorter paths

- using certain path points (and thus buttons) more than once
- requiring player to press/drag certain number of buttons in the mid-sequence
- using special buttons that move other buttons around
- using special buttons that switch between colored pathways

So far it seems that these features make the player think a bit more harder :-)
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Frooxius
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« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2013, 01:18:24 AM »

Hello again,
sorry I took so long, was busy with other stuff, but now I have an alpha build ready for testing and feedback :-)

What's new
- Implemented random level generator (It's under Casual game -> Endless Game) with varying difficulty (it's not fully finished yet though)
- Some new levels

Download alpha here (Windows, Mac and Linux builds)

Instructions and notes
Code:
**** FEEDBACK I'M LOOKING FOR ****
- In-game bugs (excluding unfinished parts naturally)
- Feedback about graphic design and effects
  (do they look nice, do they fit the theme, are they annoying?)
- Feedback about level difficulty (especially Endless game mode)
  and general gameplay
- Gameplay element suggestions if you think of some (there are several that are
  not used in the included levels yet)
 
**** SOME INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTES ****
- Only Casual Mode works in this alpha, selecting Time Attack freezes the game
  - New Game / Continue / Level Select start a series of handmade levels
    - These are mostly final only up to level 15, the rest are unorganized
      and some unfinished or testing levels
    - Later there will be in game tutorial as you progress through the levels
      and new features are introduced
  - Endless Mode - uses a random level generator
    - All difficulties work, but they're not complete yet (especially the harder
      ones, the random level generator is going to be richer - include more features)
- Level Editor is just for me, it won't be part of the finished game

I'll be happy for your feedback :-)
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ananasblau
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« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2013, 03:33:22 AM »

first video i was like "oh that's nice" second video I was like "wow, looks great" followed by wtf?!?!

i definitely gonna play it later.
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Frooxius
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 03:08:50 PM »

Hello!
I updated the game to a new version.

What's new:
  • New levels with new features
  • In-game tutorial
  • Settings work now
  • Random level generator (endless game) now generates more complex levels on higher difficulties
  • The first path point is now highlighted visually
  • When you place button in a slot with another button, they swap
  • You can now adjust the speed of the path presses using the blue buttons in-game
   
Windows/Linux/Mac Alpha builds here
Unity Webplayer is here. I'll be glad for more feedback!

Here are some notes and instructions:
Quote
**** FEEDBACK I'M LOOKING FOR ****
- In-game bugs (excluding unfinished parts naturally)
- Feedback about graphic design and effects
  (do they look nice, do they fit the theme, are they annoying?)
- Feedback about level difficulty (especially Endless game mode)
  and general gameplay
- Gameplay element suggestions if you think of some (there are several that are
  not used in the included levels yet)
- Is the in-game tutorial understandable and explains the concepts well enough?
- Do you get stuck on some levels?
- Are the new features and special buttons easy to understand?
  
**** SOME INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTES ****
- Only Casual Mode works in this alpha, selecting Time Attack freezes the game
  - New Game / Continue / Level Select start a series of handmade levels
    - These are mostly final only up to level 40, the rest are unorganized
      and some unfinished or testing levels
    - There's in-game tutorial
  - Endless Mode - uses a random level generator
    - All difficulties work, but the functionality isn't complete yet and it needs tweaking
- Level Editor is just for me, it won't be part of the finished game
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Frooxius
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2013, 10:21:07 AM »

Hello again! DeCalc went to beta now, meaning most features are complete and levels are designed.

Windows/Linux/Mac Beta builds here
Unity Webplayer version of the Beta is here.
I'll be glad for more feedback!

Here's a quick preview of the beta:




Here are updated instructions:
Code:
**** FEEDBACK I'M LOOKING FOR ****
- In-game bugs
- Feedback about graphic design and effects
  (do they look nice, do they fit the theme, are they annoying?)
- Feedback about level difficulty (especially Endless game mode and arcade)
  and general gameplay
- Gameplay element suggestions if you think of some (there are a few that are
  not used in the included levels yet)
- Is the in-game tutorial understandable and explains the concepts well enough?
- Do you get stuck on some levels?
- Are the new features and special buttons easy to understand?
- How fun are individual modes?
- What's your score on Endless/Arcade mode in various difficulties?
 
**** SOME INSTRUCTIONS AND NOTES ****
- All game modes work - try play casual first to learn the mechanics, then
try endless and arcade
  - New Game / Continue / Level Select start a series of handmade levels
    - The game contains 50 levels, that will be part of the first release of the game
    - There's in-game tutorial
  - Endless Mode and Arcade mode - uses a random level generator
    - All difficulties work, but I appreciate feedback on them
- Level Editor is just for me, it won't be part of the finished game
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psyguy
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2013, 04:44:32 PM »

Your current build looks pretty nice.  I think you've doen a good job of adding some ritzy effects without going overboard and letting them get in the way of anything.  I am not sure the music in the game is the best fit for a educational-ish type game, but it doesn't get in the way by any means (and sounds fine).

Sometimes I felt like I had to click on the "ok" button twice to get it to respond.  I might have possibly made an accidental "drag click" or something on the first click?  That's the closest thing I found as far as "bugs" go (or user error!).

I did feel like the process of dragging the "tiles" to the circles became tedious after a short while.  Have you considered providing some sort of "type it in" option to the game?  I think I would have done that given the option.

I've only tried the first classic mode.  Oh hey, let me add, that little tutorial dude you have in the game, he reminds me of the Clippy dude from MS Word, and he's not my favorite character, so I kind of held him guilty by association.  I don't recall if you had a setting in the options screen to disable the hints.  I would suggest 2 things:  allowing the user to choose to have (a) no tutorial, (b) tutorial with character, and (c) tutorial without character; and secondly, a method to engage in combat with the tutorial character if he appears on the screen.  You can drag him onto the calculator and destroy him in some fashion.  I'm getting a little bit carried away!

Back on track, I played through not quite 20 of the levels in the classic mode.  Most of the levels seemed more easy than hard, but difficulty in a math game like this one is going to be so subjective.  I think you have an appropriate difficulty progression, at least through the levels I played.
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ithamore
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2013, 09:24:05 PM »

The video was pleasant, the UI looked nice, and I like mathematics. So I downloaded the beta and will give you some more constructive advice later.
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Frooxius
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2013, 08:32:05 AM »

psyguy: Thanks a lot for the feedback.

Was there a hint on the screen when you had to click it twice? When there's a hint on screen, the "OK" button hides it, so that might've been it.

"Type it in" is very interesting suggestion, but I'm not sure how it would work for later levels, where some path points are used multiple times or where the buttons have to be arranged outside of the circles and then dragged into them via the button swapping buttons. Or later, when some buttons will be color-locked into specific circles.

Maybe I'll make it in a way that you can somehow initiate the typing mode, which assigns each button unique key on the keyboard and it will ask for each path-point which button to place there and you can skip it by pressing space and then drag the rest of the buttons manually to the right places.

Anyway, thanks a lot, I'll think about it and I'll try implement something along these lines :-)

I'm sorry for the bad Clippy memories. The character is going to be different in the final game (a LED diode instead of a bipolar transistor - a joke on the light-bulb representing idea/hint, but semiconductor based :D ). I'm not sure about interactivity though, it would take some time to implement and I'm not sure if the game would benefit from it.

I'll add option to disable hints completely through to the settings.

Yeah, the first 20 levels are very easy, I think the later ones get more difficult, but I don't want it to be too difficult (I already changed some of the last levels, because they seemed frustrating to me, but these changes are not in the beta build). If you want really difficult, you can try the hardest mode in the Endless mode :D

Anyway, thanks a lot for valuable feedback. ^^

ithamore: Thanks, I'm looking forward to the constructive advice :-)

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pluckyporcupine
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2013, 09:35:00 AM »

Just tried playing the browser version. The mouse kept glitching back and forth between where it actually was and the center of the screen.
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Frooxius
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2013, 09:46:07 AM »

Hmm... what OS are you on and what browser are you using? Also do you know what version of the Unity plugin do you have?
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pluckyporcupine
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2013, 12:00:19 PM »

Mac OS X 10.6.8, Chrome, not a clue.
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Frooxius
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2013, 12:08:20 PM »

I was able to replicate that on Mac OS X under both Chrome and Safari, but not under Windows, so it seems to be tied to the Mac OS X webplayer. I'll look into it more to see where the problem is, thanks.
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psyguy
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2013, 04:11:13 PM »

It definitely might have been the tutorial "click stealing" thing.
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