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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsButton Up! - Android and iOS - latest release: 13th March 2015
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Author Topic: Button Up! - Android and iOS - latest release: 13th March 2015  (Read 40209 times)
oodavid
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« Reply #40 on: March 09, 2014, 04:18:32 PM »

Woopwoop! I have something for you all, a playable APK for Android!


Nice, the count-down effect of the dots is actually really neat - makes the gameplay almost self-explanatory!

Agreed! My wife said that they look like little buttons too, which is cool; might help me with art-direction when I get to that stage...

Let me know how you get on with the playable demo :-)
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« Reply #41 on: March 10, 2014, 06:18:47 AM »

It's kind of infuriating how often the 4 connectors are on the side, or the 3 connectors in the corner. Other than that it's fun so far!
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oodavid
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« Reply #42 on: March 10, 2014, 08:20:54 AM »

Oooh 11489 points on 9b! Nice!

It's kind of infuriating how often the 4 connectors are on the side, or the 3 connectors in the corner. Other than that it's fun so far!

I have logic (inactive) that prevents this from happening; only 3's on the edges and 2's in the corners but I thought it made it a bit too easy. Maybe I should make it a level variable so that early levels place nice and later ones get a bit more brutish...

Currently the only functional "goal" is get a high-score, but once I add others like "connect two specific atoms", "create 5 molecules of a certain size" I'm hoping that there will be enough friction to keep the levels varied, difficult and interesting.

Did you find the game logic straightforward even without a tutorial etc?

PS - cheers for having a go! You're the first person that I'm not married to that's played it...
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« Reply #43 on: March 10, 2014, 08:38:12 AM »

Oooh 11489 points on 9b! Nice!
Was that the one where you only had 5 molecules? Yeah, I took a brute force approach where I kept de- and reconnecting until I got the largest possible molecule before finishing it.
Quote
I have logic (inactive) that prevents this from happening; only 3's on the edges and 2's in the corners but I thought it made it a bit too easy. Maybe I should make it a level variable so that early levels place nice and later ones get a bit more brutish...
I figured that was the reason. Making it a gradual increase in difficulty sounds good. Instead of all or nothing you could also have a limit - no more than one or two 3-connectors in a corner, no more than X 4 connectors on the side, that sort of thing. The thing is that you can "shuffle scum" already anyway.

I'm sure the game will be varied enough to stay interesting with the mechanics mentioned.

The mechanics were quite straightforward - as I said, the counting down of the dots makes it quite intuitive.

Oh, one last thing: right now you can only connect one thing at a time - if you could keep drawing to connect without lifting your finger or stylus, that might make the game play a lot more fluid (especially if you have to connect a lot of 2-connectors)
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oodavid
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« Reply #44 on: March 10, 2014, 09:00:12 AM »

Yeah, the one with 5 molecules.

I'll pop "edge" probability on my todo list, might be able to do it this weekend.

Balancing levels is going to be a bit of a grind, although in that build there's only 3 things I can vary and I wanted to show them off: board size, atom probability and the limit (number of moves etc.) - I plan to have:

  • Choice of 5 limits
  • Choice of 5 goals - not just "get a high-score"
  • Atoms with powerups - score multiplier, extra time
  • ...some of which are risky - shuffles the board, destroys your molecule
  • Atoms with half-lives - they tick down and obliterate a row / column / region if not destroyed

Even with just 5 limits and 5 goals that's 25 combinations, once I add the others we'll be talking hundreds (if not, thousands). It's a bit daunting really!
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« Reply #45 on: March 10, 2014, 12:40:17 PM »

Found a bug: on levels with "score X in Y bonds" tapping "shuffle" with an unfinished molecule makes you lose those bonds.
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oodavid
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« Reply #46 on: March 10, 2014, 12:42:18 PM »

Found a bug: on levels with "score X in Y bonds" tapping "shuffle" with an unfinished molecule makes you lose those bonds.

Ooooh, very good spot! I'll put that on my bugs list - sorry if it ruined your score Wink

Edit - sod the bugs list, I'm gonna fix that now, when the wife's away, the cat will play!
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 01:00:24 PM by oodavid » Logged


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oodavid
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« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2014, 04:45:02 PM »

2 Bugfixes, but no new APK just yet.

  • Shuffle now releases bonds back to the limit
  • Shuffle now properly deals with "holes" (it was shuffling holes instead of filling them)
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« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2014, 12:42:21 AM »

Oh, yeah, I noticed a variant of that: if you have two unfinished molecules above each other, and you finish the bottom one, the top one will block the falling atoms until you finish/disconnect it. Did you fix that too? Or is that going to be a feature? Like an advanced strategy Wink
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oodavid
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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2014, 03:50:29 AM »

I had real trouble with that at first, originally it would shear off bonds and bust up molecules but decided it was much cooler to be able to create little overhangs!

Getting some good data on my logger, had about a dozen people play 320 levels. Let the balancing commence!


creating an overhang
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« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2014, 04:44:28 AM »

I think I just set a new high-score on 9B Tongue

It's interesting to see how you can get two very different types of game: one where fast good-enough chains matter (time limited) or one where the largest possible molecule matters. Although I guess that's nothing new compared to standard match-3 games.

Also, idea for a possible power-up: don't break unfinished molecules on a shuffle (for n shuffles or x seconds). Let's say you have a near-perfect molecule except for that one nagging corner. If molecules don't break on shuffling you can shuffle and hope the new neighbours fit better.
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oodavid
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« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2014, 04:49:18 AM »

Holy-moly that's a high score! Not sure even I could beat that...

What a good idea regarding the shuffle. I'll add in a kind shuffle (keeps your atoms in place) and a brutal shuffle (as it is) and then we're on our way to having a suite of powerups!

I feel quite indebted to you, you've provided a lot of interesting commentary and feedback already; where are you from?
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« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2014, 06:11:36 AM »

Do your statistics also count how often people press shuffle before completing a molecule and such? Because that would probably give valuable feedback as well. I did a lot of "shuffle scumming" to get that score for example.

Netherlands. Currently studying Interaction Design in Sweden, so giving this kind of feedback is what I do Wink
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oodavid
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« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2014, 07:21:48 AM »

Ah no, they don't - I've got a very (very) crude system going on; should really do some research into a better alternative to sending data to a google spreadsheet! I love your term "shuffle scumming", At some point (soon) I'll be designing the powerups section that will have things like the shuffle, clear, reset etc. and each level might come with a limit on how many times you can use them...

Interaction Design sounds cool, is it specifically within a Gaming remit?
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« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2014, 11:21:49 AM »

Hmm, yeah, sending a whole log of every player move over every time would be a bit heavyweight, wouldn't it? But it might be worth sitting down and writing out what questions you would like to have answered in a perfect world were everything was measurable and logged, and work your way backwards to a sufficient datacollecting system from there.

Honestly, I think it's already pretty neat that you are collecting user data automatically as is.

I got the term "scumming" from Roguelike games, where it is the tactic of restarting until you got a got set of stats and areas close by for an easy start. It's basically trying to game the random number generator - so it was a natural fit for abusing the shuffle button.

IxD is definitely a lot of fun - the study is not aimed at games specifically, although some of the students here do choose to focus on that. But at the moment I am working on gesture interfaces, for example. We did do a course on game design though - also on a more abstract level to discuss how the principles behind it can be applied elsewhere (and not just in terms of gamification).
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« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2014, 02:17:06 PM »

So I introduced the game to my girlfriend. I'm not sure if I should have done that... she's super-competitiveand not nearly as good as I am.
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« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2014, 06:29:05 PM »

Yeah, this game's definitely cool...can't wait to see the game all polished up.  Toast Right
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« Reply #57 on: March 13, 2014, 01:16:21 AM »

So I introduced the game to my girlfriend. I'm not sure if I should have done that... she's super-competitiveand not nearly as good as I am.

Yeah, mine's similar, I had to pry my phone off her last week cause I thought she was going to raise it to the ground!

Yeah, this game's definitely cool...can't wait to see the game all polished up.  Toast Right

Thanks! Still got a lot more functionality to put in place before I get to the design stage; I'm keen to give the designer all the low-quality assets and let him just smash through them. I also need to knuckle down and get the story together as he'll need that too...

Edit: very exited for the weekend so I can get my teeth back into it!
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oodavid
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« Reply #58 on: March 14, 2014, 11:11:48 AM »

Finally, the weekend is upon us!

Depending on the usual factors (drinking beer in the house, drinking beer in the pub, cooking, chores etc.) I hope to:

1 - Replace all "block" views with placeholder images, while they will be updated in due course with something polished there's still a certain amount of code to write to get shift this from plain Views to ImageVIews.

2 - Add a settings system to toggle: SFX, Music, Colorblind mode, Notifications.

3 - Sort out the Game UI for the "boosters" we've been talking about.

4 - If possible, get some Facebook logic working; login, share.

Edit - but first things first...

« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 09:52:36 AM by oodavid » Logged


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« Reply #59 on: March 15, 2014, 10:55:14 AM »

Knocked together a settings widget and tidied up a few of the graphics on the Map View...



Tis non-functional for now, but shouldn't take me too long to get it working :-)
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