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TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsMosaic Mingle -- Flash Puzzle Game (v2.0k)
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Author Topic: Mosaic Mingle -- Flash Puzzle Game (v2.0k)  (Read 4376 times)
jprogman
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« on: August 22, 2013, 01:13:36 pm »

Mosaic Mingle -- Puzzle Game for Flash




-- The game is ready at Kongregate (v2.0k) --


Links...
Youtube Video:



My other dev log (Acoders): --click here--
My portfolio (sort of outdated): http://jprogram.acoders.com/


"Mosaic Mingle" is a puzzle game where you have to place tiles in the right place on the template.
The tiles are placed by flinging them by one of the four arrows into a template that acts like a hole. So, the tiles keep moving until they hit another tile or when it hits the edge of the template when it is inside.
You'll see a series of tiles in which you would have to place on the template. If you placed a wrong colored tile or have gaps where tiles cannot be placed, you gotta hit the undo button.

Complete the mosaic as exactly as shown on the template to win!

The game plans to have 50 different puzzles in total, 25 of them are easy (meaning you will get hints when a mistake is made) and 25 of them are hard (meaning you won't no hints).
Each puzzle can be played in two different rounds. One is Normal round where you will always get the same series of tiles. The other is Challenge round where the series of tiles will be different each time.

I'm doing 100% of the stuff in "Mosaic Mingle" including programming, music, art, and audio. This is to show what I'm able to do in video game development. This is actually my first Flash game project, but not my first time working with Flash entirely. I had done Flash animation in the past, so working with Flash is nothing new to me other than using ActionScript 3.

I hope this game would get me back on track into the game development career after frequent life-related issues. I have created games and shared them since 2000, you can see them here: http://jprogram.acoders.com/

I'll post the latest news here, but most of the detailed posts will be on Acoders.
http://www.acoders.com/acsite/forums_readtopic.php?id=7168 I'll be active with this post on TIGForums to answer questions, show new stuff, and bringing you the latest news on the development.

Just for the record, I've posted about "Mosaic Mingle" earlier when I was seeking feedback on my prototype. The prototype is now offline however. The link to that post is: http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=33097.0
« Last Edit: October 31, 2013, 05:39:56 pm by jprogman » Logged

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jprogman
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2013, 06:15:17 pm »


To do list...

  • Develop Instructions Screen with Instructions.
  • Final testing and debugging. (Doing it along the way.)


There could be more, but those are pretty much all I could think of for now.
As long as I keep persisting at this project without any disruptions, I should get this done for public tryout by the end of this month!

I was figuring out what sort of rounds the game should have. Of course there are two, but there were another two that I plan to keep as unlockables, only to trash them due for being too difficult and messy.

The game has only two different rounds: Normal and Challenge. Those are played with 50 different pictures. My plan was originally to include two different rounds, called "special" puzzles, as unlockables. But, after some thought, I'm only going to keep the Normal and Challenge rounds.

The special puzzles are different than Normal and Challenge rounds for being totally dynamic. The special puzzles are actually noisy, or randomly-generated, pictures that are only meant for the true puzzle solvers. There were two types of special puzzles: random and cascade. Random creates the noisy template using a select amount of different colored tiles; between 5 or 25 out of 27. Cascade ensures there is all 27 different colored tiles in the template.
At first, I thought it would be okay to have them as unlockables and not make them necessary to complete the game. Unfortunately, the special puzzles became too difficult to enjoy and too messy to play and feared that they will scare players off; which led to my decision to trash those puzzles completely. Better trashing them than playing through garbage.  Tongue
« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 08:46:18 pm by jprogman » Logged

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wccrawford
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2013, 03:28:51 am »

Seems like it could be an interesting game. 
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jprogman
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2013, 07:42:59 pm »

Seems like it could be an interesting game. 

Only way to find out. The game had got some positive responses when the prototype was released. I'm eager to find out if the same people's reactions remain the same after the game's full release. Crazy
The newest genre is often difficult to grab attention, but my ambitions for this title remains strong.
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jprogman
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« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2013, 02:23:46 pm »

Added one more item to my "to do" list... memory optimization.
I don't really like doing that because I have tried many things on Flash to keep the total memory usage down. Some ideas supposed to work well, until Flash produces some weird glitches in the game. Since I had wasted too much time on optimizing, I figured I wait until the game is fully constructed before I start optimizing the performance. Tired

Here's an example...
I was testing my game in Firefox.
Just to give you an idea, assume each time a level is completed that you are taken back to the level selection screen to select a different level.

Initial: (Private Memory) ~17,200k
at level select: ~25,300k
After playing 1 level (at level selection):  ~38,000k
After playing 5 levels (at level selection): ~71,500k
After playing 16 levels (at level selection): ~155,400k

I sort of notice some jerkiness with some animation after I hit around 110,000k or so.
Just FYI, my computer's pretty powerful with 3GB RAM, 2.2GHz duo CPU, and 512MB GPU. Again, I'm saving optimization for last so everything in the game is in place.
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jprogman
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« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2013, 08:37:14 pm »

Got a few things done...

* All 50 puzzles are made, tested, and settled! I've arranged them according to their difficulty in both normal and challenge rounds. Although, it's only a matter of public opinion for determining what's easy and difficult.

* Got the puzzles to unlock after getting certain amount of stars. You get one star for completing the puzzle in one round and another for setting a new record in that same round.

I got a few short-term plans that could help the game's performance considerably.
Memory issues is still my biggest concern. However, I found one approach to keep the performance consistent during long periods of gameplay. I'm resorting to re-use "screens" instead of re-creating the screens each time it's shown. I have done something like that as one of my Flash experiments during my spare time. I'll dedicate a day to change the structure of the screens for re-useability; I might as well have to keep the game's performance smooth. I'll let you know shortly on how that turns up.

I will be putting a lot of time to get this up and running for public tryouts since this game is already past due. Originally, I had it down for the end of September to get the game ready for the public, but I had to miss several days due to illness and life in general. If everything goes according to plan, I'm confident this month will be where "Mosaic Mingle" gets done. Beer!
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jprogman
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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2013, 11:10:05 pm »

I'm still re-adjusting the screens to make them more memory efficient, but I am making some progress. It seems that reusing the screens doesn't eat up more memory than having to re-create the same screens over and over again. However, it is taking a little more time retrofitting the existing screens to work properly, but I only have a couple of major screens to fix: the puzzle select screen and the puzzle screen. I'm in the middle of getting the puzzle select screen to work properly and I still need to get the puzzle screen done. After that, it should resolve the memory issue that always bothered me throughout the development.
Ironically, the solution of reusing screens as already developed months ago, but was scrapped after a picky flaw. Since the game uses SimpleButtons, the solution impacted the look of those buttons. When you click one in one screen, go to the other screen, and then back to the same screen with the same button, the button would still be in its "clicked" animation. It doesn't impact the button's operation, just the look. By now, I've added a bandage solution by adding a dummy button that shows up when the original button is not clicked or hovered. It will have to do because, while it's just a freaking button, it affects the presentation.

Another sign of progression: getting the preloader working. It caused some problems with the game as it prevented some pictures to appear just white. Fortunately, all problems are solved, at least for now. I haven't found out if the puzzle screen is affected since I still need to retrofit that.

I've also did some animation for the game's intro, and some various graphical projects. I'm sort of working back-and-forth with the easiest things like graphic design and screen design, and the harder things like coding. With the weekend coming up, that's always a challenge for me to work since those are my worst days to try to keep away from distractions. Eh, just my life I have to deal with.  Roll Eyes
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jprogman
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 10:52:34 pm »

I got the screens more efficient and the game uses less memory. Whoohoo! Grin So that's one off my "to do" list, and a very important one in my mind!

Next up: working on the screens that are left to do. Meanwhile, the instructions screen is still on my mind and a big priority to complete.
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jprogman
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 10:55:19 pm »

I've got some screenshots on Twitter. I shouldn't be hot-linking to them, but since it works, I'll go for it.  Big Laff
By the way, you'll notice some difference in detail. That's because those pictures were taken during development.

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jprogman
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 04:57:36 pm »

Once the game's done, I plan to upload it on Kongregate. Although, if I decide to release the game in beta, I'm having thoughts on putting the game somewhere else; preferably at Acoders (where I belong.)  Smiley

That is unless Kongregate will allow me to update the game after submitting to them. I'll check that out. EDIT:You can also upload a new version of the game, or a new icon.--Kongregate. Good to know.  Shrug
Stick around for the latest on the game's releasing!

Meanwhile, here's the most recent picture of the game...
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jprogman
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2013, 08:51:30 pm »

One last thing to do now: the instructions screen.  Tears of Joy
It should only take about a day to get it done. After that, the game would finally be released for Friday or Saturday!  Coffee
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2013, 05:16:45 pm »

 Hand Shake Left yay Hand Shake Right Game's out and running!

The game is available at Kongregate...
http://www.kongregate.com/games/johnsprogram/mosaic-mingle

Since the game is out on Kongregate, I still need to add their API on the next version to submit statistics. That is if the game really needs it. I'll give it a few days to decide. I'll post the news here.

If you gave it a try, thanks! Coffee
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2013, 09:30:58 pm »

V1.0.1K is up. Here are the changes:

* Kongregate's API is implemented to send game stats for tracking high scores. Currently, only the total number of stars (overall) are displayed in the high scores table. I'm considering to show the least amount of undoings too, but feared that might confuse most players.

* Added a few helpful details such as:
a) New message boxes telling you how many total stars to get to unlock more puzzles.
b) A message at the bottom of the current star total at the level selection screen to indicate what your star total must be in order to unlock more puzzles.
c) A new instructions page to explain the pause menu, explaining the "try again" and the "new series" buttons.

I'll still be posting at my other Dev Log at Acoders to explain my thoughts and ideas.
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2013, 05:48:22 pm »

Version 2.0 is now up with the following changes:
  • The number of stars to get to unlock more puzzles has been reduced significantly. Before, every 16 stars you collect unlock more puzzles; now it's every 10 stars. Therefore, you are no longer obligated to try the challenge round. This should clear some confusion or frustration associated with unlocking puzzles.
  • The mouse control has improved. Before, you had to click each time to place a tile. Now, you can hold the mouse button down to place the tiles. This will allow you to select several cursors without letting go of the button; thus saving time.
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