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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingOnline Draughts/Checkers Game
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SteveHarris
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« on: July 22, 2007, 07:54:47 AM »

Hi All,

I've recently finished a game and would like some feedback if possible. Game description is:-

"Steve Harris's online draughts allows you to play draughts/checkers against players from all around the world or just a straight-forward 2 player game.
The game includes elements such as chatting and ranking of players. You can accept or decline challenges, host your own game or join another game.

Quitting mid-game will mean you automatically lose the game thus prevent cheating.

See if you can become a Grand Master!"


Is this description OK, could I do it better?


Game can be found here:- http://www.steveharris.info/downloads/draughts/draughts.zip

Is there anything that sticks out for you when playing the game that looks or feels wrong?

This game really will live and die by how many users end up playing ti regularly so are there any particular websites I should submit it to? I've submitted to:-

Download.com
GameHippo.com
Tucows.com

That's about it so far as I couldn't think of any more high quality sites Embarrassed

Screenies





Thanks for any feedback Smiley

Steve
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Guert
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« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2007, 09:04:29 AM »

Hello there!
I'm going to download the game pretty soon.

One question: what have you included in your game that I haven't seen somewhere else?  Why would I choose your game instead of simply using the mini-games I find on other websites or that comes with msn messenger?

I'm still going to download the game but you have to be able to answer that kind of question, specially since you have a casual game. Casual gamers will want to know why they should switch game when their need of playing checkers can already be filled by using other free games available straight on their computers...

The game looks nice BTW. Wink

Perhaps this link could help, but it's mostly for shareware games:
http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=257.0

Take care!
 
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SteveHarris
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2007, 12:10:14 PM »

Sorry Guert, forgot to mention it's freeware for now Smiley
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Zaphos
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2007, 07:54:48 PM »

Sorry Guert, forgot to mention it's freeware for now Smiley
Regardless of the price (or lack thereof) you still need to be able to say what makes your game better than the so-many other online checkers games.  Starting off, you're automatically at a disadvantage to established services due to lack of player base.  You're probably also a bit less user-friendly because you require players to run (trust!) an executable, instead of just loading up some web page.  So, to convince people to play your game, you need some aspect of it that's really not just equal to but clearly better than the current offerings.
Also, if it's just the game of checkers, and you're not famous, it's a bit odd to call it "Steve Harris's Online Draughts".
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Derek
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2007, 08:03:24 PM »

"Steve Harris's online draughts allows you to play draughts/checkers against players from all around the world or just a straight-forward 2 player game.
The game includes elements such as chatting and ranking of players. You can accept or decline challenges, host your own game or join another game.

Quitting mid-game will mean you automatically lose the game thus prevent cheating.

See if you can become a Grand Master!"


Is this description OK, could I do it better?


Your description is okay, but it could be worded better, I think.  I'd try something more like this:

"Steve Harris's Online Draughts lets you play draughts (known as checkers in the U.S.) against opponents from all over the world!  Host a game and send out challenges to other players.  The game also features online ranking and in-game chat.  Quitting mid-game will always result in a loss to keep cheating to a minimum.  It's free to download and play!"

Putting up a page for the program will also go a long way in getting people to try it!

The graphics are serviceable, but could use some improvement.  I think you're going for a sophisticated-type look, but for my money I'd prefer to see something a little more understated.  All the different textures and marbling just distracts the eye.  If I'm playing checkers online, I want everything to be very clean-looking.

I like the look of the board in this game, for example:



The entire motif is actually a bit too tan.  Everything is the same tone.  There's no contrast.  It's also quite difficult to make out the white text on there...

Sorry Guert, forgot to mention it's freeware for now Smiley
Regardless of the price (or lack thereof) you still need to be able to say what makes your game better than the so-many other online checkers games.  Starting off, you're automatically at a disadvantage to established services due to lack of player base.  You're probably also a bit less user-friendly because you require players to run (trust!) an executable, instead of just loading up some web page.  So, to convince people to play your game, you need some aspect of it that's really not just equal to but clearly better than the current offerings.
Also, if it's just the game of checkers, and you're not famous, it's a bit odd to call it "Steve Harris's Online Draughts".

I think the fact that it's free is a big selling (heh!) point. Smiley
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SteveHarris
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« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2007, 01:15:44 PM »

Thanks for the input Derek. As always it's very helpful for me.

I'll take in to account what you said about the colours. Thanks for updating my description... i'm crap at those sorts of things Smiley

I've put up a page on my website: http://www.steveharris.info/viewdownload.php?dloadid=3 should I do a separate website for it, or is that OTT?

Quote
Also, if it's just the game of checkers, and you're not famous, it's a bit odd to call it "Steve Harris's Online Draughts".

Well to be honest I couldn't think of what else to call it Embarrassed. Checkers is called Draughts in the UK and most of the rest of the world apart from USA and Canada as far as I can tell... Oh and I am famous http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Harris_(musician) j/k
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Guert
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« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2007, 05:02:54 PM »

Downloaded the game and here are a couple of comments:

First, I'd put the 2 player game option right under the online lobby option in the menu.  People want to play the game first then see the rest of what the game can offer

When you start a game, Player one is written on top but is placed on the bottom part of the board. It's confusing. I know the letters are of the same colors but it's not clear enough. If my name is on top, I associate it with the pieces on top of the board.

When you eliminate a piece, it should disapear after that the moving piece has ended it's movement. It'll help to tell the player what is going on.

It's not very clear who's turn it is. Your cursor doesn't get enough attention. Make it bigger and closer to the name. Use more contrasted colors, right now he blends in the background.

Do you really need the undo button? quite frankly, I'd make it that your turn ends automaticaly when you have finished moving your piece. If you want to keep the "Ok let's move on" button, make it flash or something when you've finished your move so that you tell the player what to do. Right now, the player moves his piece and then waits for the opponent.

Speaking of waiting for the opponent, have you thought about the eventuality that one player does not press the "finished my go" button? Like, I'm playing a game, I'm loosing and I decide not to touch the freakin, thing at my turn and wait until the other player leaves giving me an instant win? If not, you better add a timer for each turn, at least in the online mode.

The quit button in the game screen should be placed under the other two buttons. The quitting opton should always be the element that is always in the bottom right corner. You can place the othe rbutton over t but not necessarily too close. perhaps you could also move the buttons closer to the oard game since that's where the action unfolds, not in the menu. Having the buttons closer to the board will make them easier to see and to use and to spot when your turn is done.

Why is there so much space on the right side of the screen? Is there something to flll up the space in the on-line mode? It just feels empty on the right.

I know it's nice to have a "More game" option in a game but never pop-up a browser window like that. At least ask the player if he wants to load up a browser. You never know what the user is doing while playing. The best move is to make a pop-up window in your application with artwork and links that the player can click by himself.

If I can't use the My profile option off-line, make it grey like the online lobby.

Well, that's pretty much what i can say right now, I didn't look at it very long, just a quick game or two. It's nice, btw. Not bad at all!

Take care and keep it up!
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handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2007, 06:06:02 PM »

When I tried to play, there was an error on the online lobby. Warning: Mysql...something. Also, everytime I left and went back into the lobby, there was another copy of me. And I definetly agree with Guert about the button at the end of your turn. It is very annoying to play with. There should be no undo, once you move the piece, your turn is over, just like real checkers.

I think there should be an option to turn off the music. If someone is playing the game and doing something else at the same time, they may want to turn it off.

In two player mode, nothing happens whenever the game is completed. Nothing that says who won or anything. It just sits there like its the next player's turn. You need something that says the game is over and who won, you probably just forgot it in offline mode.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2007, 06:22:31 PM by HandCraftedRadio » Logged

Zaphos
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 11:32:15 AM »

I think the fact that it's free is a big selling (heh!) point. Smiley
My point was that there are lots of free online checkers games already.
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SteveHarris
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 01:55:36 PM »

Wow thanks for that Guert and HandCraftedRadio. I've fixed nearly everything you both mentioned but kept a few things (like the undo button and finished go button) as I quite like having them... if I get poor feedback I will change them Smiley

Any more ideas on where to upload?
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handCraftedRadio
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 02:06:19 PM »

If you are going to keep the undo and finish button you should make it flash or something after the move. The main problem I had was forgeting to hit it and the other player would try to move but couldn't. If you are playing online it will only be harder to realize that you never pressed the button and a lot more annoying for both players.
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Guert
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 02:36:36 PM »

Same feeling here. As I mentionned, if you can move it closer to the board to remind us what we have to do once we have finished our move.

Post the new version when you can! Smiley
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