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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingDeduction - Logic Puzzles
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grayhaze
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« on: November 02, 2015, 01:13:49 PM »

Over the past couple of months I've been keeping a devlog of my game Deduction here on TIGForums, during which time I've posted a couple of early development builds for people to play with. Unfortunately despite a large number of views of the devlog, I've had very little feedback on the direction I'm taking. So I thought it was worth posting a companion thread here with the latest playable build in an effort to gather a little more feedback.

The game is a version of a logic puzzle known variously as the Zebra Puzzle or Einstein's Riddle, with puzzles randomly generated each time. The idea is to follow a set of clues to get to the unique solution for each puzzle by eliminating possible symbols from the game board. Here's a shot of the game in action, using the recently introduced hint system to cheat my way to the solution:


The large area in the upper two thirds represents the game board, which in this example is divided into four rows and four columns, with each cell of the grid containing the four possible symbols for that cell. Each row has a designated colour, as seen on the edge of the tiles and the tint of the symbols, and a unique set of symbols along a theme.

As you eliminate symbols in a cell they will be pressed in, by first clicking the cell to zoom in, then either clicking a symbol to eliminate it or long pressing and releasing to eliminate all other symbols in the cell. Once only one symbol remains, that symbol is 'revealed' and grows to fill the cell. Once all symbols have been revealed, the puzzle is solved.

In order to work out which symbols can be eliminated from any given cell, the area at the bottom of the screen displays a number of clues. These clues comprise of two or three symbols from the board along with an optional black tile with a white symbol which represents the relationship between those symbols. If you click on a clue, the view will zoom in and you will see an explanation of that clue. By knowing which relationships exist between symbols, it's possible to eliminate those symbols from the board which don't abide by them.

If at any point you find yourself stuck and can't see what your next move should be, just click the Hint button and you'll be shown a possible next move to take. If a symbol is outlined in red, you can safely eliminate it, and if a symbol is outlined in green you can eliminate all other symbols in that cell and reveal it using the long-press. During development the hints are unlimited, but obviously in the final game there will be a limit depending on the difficulty level of any given puzzle.

If you try to eliminate a symbol which is part of the solution, you will see the board shake and the full solution will be revealed. So choose wisely!

Once a puzzle has been solved or failed, a new puzzle will be generated after a short pause.

Currently there's a lot left to do, but it's already playable and a fun little time waster for those who like games like Minesweeper or Sudoku. So far I have the following planned:

  • A full tutorial
  • Timed, casual and puzzle game modes (more on that last one at a later date)
  • A strike / life / undo system to make things less punishing on lower difficulties
  • Ambient music and sound effects
  • A lot more symbol themes
  • Different tile shapes, although this may be part of a post-release update

The version linked below currently works on Windows only, and is a development build with a lot of debug controls under the game board for setting the number of rows, columns and initially revealed symbols, and a large number of different clue types - of which only four are initially selected. There's also a 'read me' text file included in the archive with a little more information on those initial clue types. Note that this version will only function until 29th February 2016, after which time I'll upload a new version which will include all recent progress.

The plan is to release this as a mobile game initially on Android and iOS, but for testing purposes it's easier to distribute a Windows executable. I may make an actual desktop version with the ability to toggle the zooming of the game board at a later date.

I welcome any and all feedback you have on this early version, and hope that you'll follow the devlog too as development progresses. Thank you for reading and playing! Grin

Click here to download
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 03:53:47 PM by grayhaze » Logged

grayhaze
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2015, 05:29:11 AM »

Given that I've had 145 views so far and no feedback, I'll assume everything's perfect so far. Wink
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ThemsAllTook
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2015, 11:24:05 AM »

It looks pretty cool! I downloaded it when I first saw the thread and it's been on my backlog ever since. Hopefully I'll get a chance to play soon and let you know what I think.
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Tselmek
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2015, 02:13:02 PM »

I only had time to play a little bit with it, but here are my feedbacks so far. First the idea is really cool, that's the kind of game I love to play, the graphics are really clean and it has a lot of potential. You did a really good job with the generation of the puzzeles and hints, kudos for that. I like the 2*2 baby mode, I could very well see my little sister playing this.

Now to the less funny part, the bad points. First, there's this weird display bug that makes playing the game a little tougher (I'm on Windows 7 if that can help). The fact that the puzzle solves itself when we make a mistake is a bit bothering (it sometimes is just a misclick). There's no real feedback when we win apart from a new puzzle popping in, an actual reward would feel great after solving one of these 6*6 beasts. Also, it could be really nice to have the ability to tap on several sub-blocks before going back to the main grid (expecially in 5*5 or 6*6 mode), the constant back and fourth movement of the camera get a bit annoying over time.

And finally, here's a few suggestions that may sound more or less crazy. A challenge mode where we have to guess only from the hints and without touching the grid where a symbol is placed. An against-the-clock mode, pretty self-explanatory. A versus mode where 2 players (or more) compete at the same time and the first who solves the puzzle wins. An actual baby mode with goofier and more kid-friendly symbols and instructions.

Only after thoroughly reading through your post (I was so excited to play that I didn't take the time to read) have I noticed that most of what I said or suggested is going to be added or fixed in later versions, my bad.

You get the Tselmek approves! badge, I wish you great luck with your game and I'll surely keep an eye on the devlog to get updated on the development.
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diegzumillo
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« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2015, 07:31:32 PM »

This is great! Took me several clicks of confusion to realize that clicking removes that icon as a candidate. But that is solved by the tutorial you already intend on having.

I don't really have much to add. Tselmek said all I wanted and apparently you were aware of everything already Tongue So good job on it! it's a good game.
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grayhaze
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2015, 09:21:33 AM »

Thank you for the great feedback everyone. It really helps to motivate me to continue. I'll update again soon with a new version.
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grayhaze
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« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2016, 03:54:20 PM »

I've updated the first post with the latest downloadable debug version for Windows.
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