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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingFactory Hiro - An action puzzle game
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belbeeno
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« on: August 17, 2017, 11:31:55 am »

Factory Hiro
Quote





http://factory.radz.one
belbeeno.itch.io/factory-hiro-pt



You're drinking your morning ritual when something causes you to pause.  Whatever happened to that one game you wonder to yourself that was posted in Offering Paid Work like 2 years ago?  I mean, working on it just wasn't in the cards for me, but I sure as heck wanted to playtest it and then subsequently purchase it at full price for myself and several of my close friends & family; you know, the ones I deeply care about.  You assume that this is just a fleeting memory, a few dozen synapses firing in a different order from usual.  It doesn't even occur to you that this thought may actually be something more, something called destiny.

Hi!  I'm belbeeno and I've been working on this game for about 3 years and change.  Factory Hiro is a 2D action puzzle game inspired by a game I played a lot as a kid on my Macintosh Quadra 650 called Factory: The Industrial Devolution.  My goal is to bring something similar to tablets, where I feel it is best suited!  You manage an assembly line and try to assemble as many parts into products to ship before the day's end.  It's a test of reflexes, planning and patience, and you'll have to be fast on your feet (fingers?) when it invariably all goes awry.

Since the last post, I've teamed up with some amazing artists (Randy O'Connor of Escape Goat 2 and Waking Mars fame, and notorious mememancer KC Green), started my studio Rad Zone Games, and pressed many buttons on my keyboard to the point where this game is more or less feature complete.  Now, I just need playtesters, and that's where *tight zoom while I point at the camera, smiling* YOU come in!

Please submit any feedback you may have either here or in the comments for the itch.io page and I'll get back to it.  Anything that comes to mind is nice, but I'm particularly looking for bugs, inconsistencies and things that are confusing.  There is an iOS build, but since the game is still in development provisioning is a bit of an issue, so apologies if that's your weapon of choice!

Thank you, I love you very much.

Edit: changing URL for playtest
« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 02:12:40 pm by belbeeno » Logged

@belbeeno - website
Please playtest my game, Factory Hiro!
Mnniska
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2017, 03:24:30 pm »

Hi!

I have feedback! I played it today for uh.. an hour or so? I played until the level with all of the pipes where you could not see where anything was going. I played on the highest resolution in windowed mode on a PC. I started playing w/ a mouse but switched to a drawing pad when I realized it was designed for touch.

BUGS
The only bug I encountered was that when playing on the highest resoltion on fullscreen, the mouse position and the game's perception of the mouse position did not match. The actual mouse was about 150 pixels to the right of where the game thought it was, making it unplayable. This may be a PC thing. When I switched to windowed it worked fine.

Text is blurry on the instructions w/ my resoltion. Actually, quite a few of the assets were blurry to me, such as the win screen.

GAMEPLAY

I don't think I played on the ideal device - considering I could not dual-wield thumbs. That being said, I still had fun once I got the hang of it.

I think what I am missing is more feedback from the direction changers.
First of all, I'd like them to have a greater graphical change when triggering them - so that I can see where a changer is pointing at a glance. I think this could ptobably be achived by simply changing the color of it when in one of the states.

Secondly I'd love some consistent sounds from the changers - one sound for one state and one for the others - could be differently pitched tones or anything - I'd just like more feedback to know which state I changed to.

Lastly, I usually had a changer change direction to let one item go through and then quickly changed it back to the original direction. However, the moment the item has passed making it okay to change direction is a bit unclear to me - so I always end up slowing down and waiting for the item to actually visually fall below the changer before being able to change it back again - forcing me to spend precious time to carefully check. To amend this, maybe have a particle effect everytime an item passes a changer, as well as a tiny sound effect? Gimme some feedback so that I can optimize, please! <3
(Oh, and in one of the early levels the changers are literally blocked by tubes, making it impossible to optimize. Very annoying!)

I was a bit confused that there was no reward for going past a level's goals - at least from what I could see in the after-level screen. I once managed to clear a level while going at full speed with no mistakes, surpassing and doubling the target quota. But the game just went "ok next level!". I did notice you had percentages in the calender screen for each level, maybe that's that? I have no idea if that is the case anyway and would've loved to have been rewarded for being good. Just gimme that sweet sweet A+ if I deserve it :')

I would've loved keyboard shortcuts, but okay yes it's not for PC. ah well

The side UI - except for speeding up time when I had messed up, I never saw/used it. The timer and how close I was to my quota was completely lost on me - because I am focusing solely on the gameplay screen. maybe incorporate the UI into the gameplay area? Maybe this is a PC issue, and maybe it's not that important to know how close one is - just letting you know that I never really saw that UI.

When selecting a level in the calendar, it circles a date and then by pressing it again you play (in my experience). I was a bit confused by this as I did not know what was going on - first time playing I accidentally launched the first lvl. Maybe a "play level" button can pop up when highlighting a lvl?

I was not a huge fan of the music and turned it off after about ten minutes.

Replaying levels multiple times to beat them gets tedious when one starts to learn the pre-defined food patterns. Randomize to some degree?

The story sets me up as a dude working to help my family - but after the intro they are never seen again! Just a bunch of pie tests Sad I don't care about pie tests..

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

Overall I had fun with the game, once I got into the "oh my gosh everything is going so fast and I am OKAY WITH THAT" mood it was fun! I'd consider really making the changers pop and sprinkling all of it with more feedback.

Hope this helped, best of luck! :D
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belbeeno
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2017, 06:28:09 pm »

WOW, thanks for the excellent feedback!  I'm also glad you played for an hour or so!  If I could, I'd nominating you for playtester of the month! 
As you mentioned a lot of PC accessibility features are secondary to getting it working on tablets, but that doesn't mean I'll be ignoring PC altogether, so the PC thoughts are still very valid.


Quote
The only bug I encountered was that when playing on the highest resoltion on fullscreen...
Huh, that's a really peculiar one; I've always tested in Editor or in windowed mode so I never noticed this!  Thanks!

Quote
Text is blurry on the instructions w/ my resoltion. Actually, quite a few of the assets were blurry to me, such as the win screen.
Yeah there's a lot of compression with mobile screens & memory constraints in mind.  I can try increasing the resolution on PC though.

Quote
I think what I am missing is more feedback from the direction changers...
Hmm, yeah these are good ideas.  I hadn't thought of the pitched audio for them, so maybe that'll help!

Quote
(Oh, and in one of the early levels the changers are literally blocked by tubes, making it impossible to optimize. Very annoying!)
Which level is this?  Anything that is interactable shouldn't be blocked by a pipe, so this may be a mistake.

Quote
I was a bit confused that there was no reward for going past a level's goals...
Hahah that's true!  Maybe I can have a different number of thumbs up show up at the end, and confetti when you perfect it.

Quote
...The timer and how close I was to my quota was completely lost on me - because I am focusing solely on the gameplay screen...
This has been a real sticking point in my face-to-face playtests.  I have a couple ideas on how to resolve this with an in game element, but we'll see if it makes it into the game.

Quote
Maybe a "play level" button can pop up when highlighting a lvl?
Great idea, I'll try that out.

Quote
I was not a huge fan of the music and turned it off after about ten minutes.
LOL that's fair... it's procedurally generated, but I think it tends to wander around a bit too much.  Would you say that it's better in some parts of the game rather than others?

Quote
Replaying levels multiple times to beat them gets tedious when one starts to learn the pre-defined food patterns. Randomize to some degree?
This is peering a bit behind the veil, but the spawning orders for almost every level IS in fact somewhat randomized already!  The thing is, for the first week of levels anyway, it's randomized in such a way that the player should never be unfairly 'blocked' from spawn pipe to end.  Later on I start getting a bit more unfair c:<  I can probably make it tougher once you hit quota though and are just shipping surplus units, that should be a simple change.

Quote
The story sets me up as a dude working to help my family - but after the intro they are never seen again! Just a bunch of pie tests Sad I don't care about pie tests..
HEHEHEHEHE


Again, I really appreciate you trying my goofy little game out.  If you have any games that you would like playtested, please send me a PM or hit me up on Twitter!
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xk
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« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2017, 12:39:54 pm »

I couldn't get it to run neither on my PC nor Android (Galaxy S3) Shrug
A pink screen on my PC, blank screen after unity logo on Android.

adb logcat -s Unity
https://pastebin.com/fMx4eRkd

output_log.txt
https://pastebin.com/2Y9gxxjT

I hope this will help!
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belbeeno
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2017, 12:51:28 pm »

I couldn't get it to run neither on my PC nor Android (Galaxy S3) Shrug

Ughhhh I'm really sorry for wasting your time!  I've heard some people say that this is a bug with 5.5.1x so I'm updating to 2017 (which is a bit of a nightmare so far) to see if that helps.  Hopefully I can count on your to test again once I've updated?  Beg  Regardless, thank you very much for letting me know!
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xk
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« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 01:00:03 pm »

I couldn't get it to run neither on my PC nor Android (Galaxy S3) Shrug

Ughhhh I'm really sorry for wasting your time!  I've heard some people say that this is a bug with 5.5.1x so I'm updating to 2017 (which is a bit of a nightmare so far) to see if that helps.  Hopefully I can count on your to test again once I've updated?  Beg  Regardless, thank you very much for letting me know!

Yeah of course! By the way, you can try upgrading to something closer to your version, it shouldn't be as difficult.

https://unity3d.com/get-unity/download/archive
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belbeeno
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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2017, 01:02:34 pm »

Yeah of course! By the way, you can try upgrading to something closer to your version, it shouldn't be as difficult.

https://unity3d.com/get-unity/download/archive

I really should have tried that instead of going for the big jump to 2017 lol.  Shrug
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Please playtest my game, Factory Hiro!
pyxal
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 09:38:53 pm »

Finally! Like you, I loved playing this game as a kid! It was the first piece of shareware I ever registered. Roundhouse Software actually sent me my registration code via a post card! I signed up to TIGForums just to thank you for this. Any chance we'll ever see it for Mac OS or iOS? I'll install on my Windows PC tomorrow evening and let you know my thoughts.

I'm not a game developer but I've always sort of dreamed of it tbh. I am a web developer and UI designer however, so please let me know if there's anything I could do to help you. I'd love to see this game get more attention!
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belbeeno
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« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 03:03:03 pm »


Hey everyone, I just updated the
itch.io page with new builds for PC and Android. 
This should introduce some more stability to the game. 
Give it a shot why not???

Finally! Like you, I loved playing this game as a kid! It was the first piece of shareware I ever registered. Roundhouse Software actually sent me my registration code via a post card! I signed up to TIGForums just to thank you for this. Any chance we'll ever see it for Mac OS or iOS? I'll install on my Windows PC tomorrow evening and let you know my thoughts.

I'm not a game developer but I've always sort of dreamed of it tbh. I am a web developer and UI designer however, so please let me know if there's anything I could do to help you. I'd love to see this game get more attention!

Hahah wow!  I really wish I had the ability to mail Roundhouse so I could have a memento for today but I only downloaded the shareware game, probably from HappyPuppy or Tucows or something  Cheesy

I'm targeting tablet iOS and Android actually, but I'll have a PC build and hopefully from there a Mac build won't be too far off.  Obviously working solo makes porting an expensive proposition, but I feel like Mac is something I'll certainly make an effort for, at the very least as a nod to the original.  I'm looking forward to hearing your feedback, and the best thing you can do is tell your friends about the game when it comes out!  Especially if they also played Factory back in the day.  I'd really appreciate it!  And if you even decide to give game development a shot it's never too late!  Everyone here's quite helpful especially for people just starting, and you can always @ me on Twitter or PM me here  Grin Hand Thumbs Up Right

I couldn't get it to run neither on my PC nor Android (Galaxy S3) Shrug
A pink screen on my PC, blank screen after unity logo on Android.

I hope this'll be addressed with this build?  Please let me know!

Everyone thanks for checking out this post!  DOUBLE thank you if you took time out of your day to try out this silly game I made.  Y'all are top tier folks!
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pyxal
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« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2017, 09:42:01 pm »

Just gave it a go. Love it so far. I'm playing on "Fantastic" graphic settings and the animations are smooth and everything runs great. So far the game mechanics (storing items, enabling/disabling actions, rerouting items, etc) are really on point with the original but feel much more responsive. I've only played through Week 1 so far (85%, 67%, 50%, 70%, 100%, meh scores as it's been a while!) and it feels like the original I once loved but with a new spiffy feel to it that is modern and very much alive.

I enjoyed the story and cut scenes. It's an interesting and more relevant twist, versus what felt a bit antiquated in Industrial Devolution.

Nice touch having Hiro Kikuchi smoking in the background of the levels. It's like the game grew up a bit since 1993 Cool

I didn't realize until half way through the week that the music was procedural like you mentioned to Mnniska. Very clever addition to the game! But I do agree with Mnniska that the music itself could be refined more. I love how energetic it becomes as you gain speed but I feel as though it should be deeper and more industrial.

When replaying cutscenes in the "DVD" screen, there should be a way to exit the cutscene without continuously clicking "SKIP".

I'd like a counter for the quota I need to meet. 0/15 for example, incrementing from 0 until the quota is met. I find myself wondering how much more I need or how far ahead I am once my quota is met.

My computer's screen resolution is 1650x1080. I selected 1280x1024 on the Configuration Screen with "Windowed" selected. The bottom 50px or so of the game window was hidden behind my taskbar. It doesn't interrupt or break the game in any way but just a bit irritating.

Any consideration for a high scores screen for each level?

Any consideration for a level editor to create "Months" like the original? I'm sure this is most likely not a priority yet of course. If you do though, I might consider making some myself. Not sure how this feature would translate on mobile however.

I'll continue playing tomorrow or later this week and let you know if any other feedback occurs to me. So far I haven't noticed any bugs btw, will let you know if I encounter any.

Thanks again for making this. It made me smile and reminded me of the Classic Mac OS "golden era" games. There were so many great indie games out there that for the most part are just history now. I want to go load up some MacCube or MacAddict CD-ROMs now on my old machines! I recall someone else began to recreate Factory several years ago but the project was abandoned, there's some sprites floating around online. I'm sure you've seen them. It's nice to see this unique gameplay get the love that it deserves. I can't wait to buy and play this on iOS someday. I have a friend who will remember this game and I'll show him as well. Best of luck to you. I hope it's a huge success!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2017, 08:50:52 am by pyxal » Logged
belbeeno
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« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2017, 10:55:39 am »

Hey pyxal, thanks for playtesting!  Really glad to see a fellow Factory fan enjoy this game; where can I find more of y'all!   Cheesy

I enjoyed the story and cut scenes. It's an interesting and more relevant twist, versus what felt a bit antiquated in Industrial Devolution.

Nice touch having Hiro Kikuchi smoking in the background of the levels. It's like the game grew up a bit since 1993 Cool

Thanks!  The story wasn't entirely by me though, KC Green who was also the artist for the cutscenes and many of the UI screens worked with me to hash out something that fit the game.  That man is a national treasure!

When replaying cutscenes in the "DVD" screen, there should be a way to exit the cutscene without continuously clicking "SKIP".

Ah, you can actually skip by holding down skip; I tried to express this with the filling bar but considering how the game is all tap based it's sort of hard to get you to hold down to skip... regardless, maybe I'll just make it one press to skip when viewing from the cutscene select.  Thanks!

I'd like a counter for the quota I need to meet. 0/15 for example, incrementing from 0 until the quota is met. I find myself wondering how much more I need or how far ahead I am once my quota is met.

This is fair.  Many people have said how the bar is a bit confusing, so I'm thinking of just switching it out for the old split flap displays I had before.

Any consideration for a high scores screen for each level?

For now I think that just keeping track of your best score is where I'll leave it; considering that I don't have a more granular scoring mechanism in place, that just leaves your ship percentage which is capped at 100% and doesn't make for a very exciting score to compare to your previous bests.

Any consideration for a level editor to create "Months" like the original? I'm sure this is most likely not a priority yet of course. If you do though, I might consider making some myself. Not sure how this feature would translate on mobile however.

This was actually something that I started to implement but eventually gave up on due to scope.  That being said the tools that I've used and made to create levels in Factory Hiro could be pulled out for the public to use after a bit of polish and refactoring, but it would be something I would add after the initial release if the game does really well.  Being restricted by mobile as you mentioned also poses its own unique problems from UX to managing the user generated content, etc.

I'll continue playing tomorrow or later this week and let you know if any other feedback occurs to me. So far I haven't noticed any bugs btw, will let you know if I encounter any.

Thanks again for making this. It made me smile and reminded me of the Classic Mac OS "golden era" games. There were so many great indie games out there that for the most part are just history now. I want to go load up some MacCube or MacAddict CD-ROMs now on my old machines! I recall someone else began to recreate Factory several years ago but the project was abandoned, there's some sprites floating around online. I'm sure you've seen them. It's nice to see this unique gameplay get the love that it deserves. I can't wait to buy and play this on iOS someday. I have a friend who will remember this game and I'll show him as well. Best of luck to you. I hope it's a huge success!

 Tears of Joy
Now that you mention it I think that I was using those sprites when I was just prototyping.  I didn't keep them because A) I wasn't paying the artist for them and I couldn't get a hold of them, and B) they needed to be treated to be used in gameplay. Did they look like:
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pyxal
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« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2017, 02:25:39 pm »

Quote
Hey pyxal, thanks for playtesting!  Really glad to see a fellow Factory fan enjoy this game; where can I find more of y'all!

You could find more of us in the classic Mac OS groups. I don't venture deep into the Classic Mac OS community anymore but I follow a few Facebook Groups, all of which are fairly active. I won't paste links here because I'm not sure of the forum rules on that but they're called: "Mac OS 9 - It's Still Alive!", "Low End Mac", and "Vintage Apple Macintosh Enthusiasts". I think you'll find a lot of people in these groups who remember this game and would be interested in playing its spiritual successor.

Quote
maybe I'll just make it one press to skip when viewing from the cutscene select.  Thanks!

What if you left the "Skip" button as-is but added a "Stop" button? It would be displayed as a stop icon, a square, commonly found on DVD players and other media players.

Quote
This is fair.  Many people have said how the bar is a bit confusing, so I'm thinking of just switching it out for the old split flap displays I had before.

Man, I overlooked the bar completely. I think this is because it is too close to the marquee and so my eyes just grazed right over it. I think it needs to be isolated more in order to stand out.
Perhaps make it slightly larger or a different color scheme.
Perhaps when an item is successfully shipped, the bar should make a "bigger" animation so that the player's eye moves to the bar and understands that it is counting your shipments.
Just some ideas. I could've just been too tired or not paying enough attention and thus I am alone in not noticing the bar.
I'm not sure what you mean by "split flap displays"? How did that work?

Quote
This was actually something that I started to implement but eventually gave up on due to scope.  That being said the tools that I've used and made to create levels in Factory Hiro could be pulled out for the public to use after a bit of polish and refactoring, but it would be something I would add after the initial release if the game does really well.  Being restricted by mobile as you mentioned also poses its own unique problems from UX to managing the user generated content, etc.

I can only begin to imagine the complexity. And you'd need a dedicated server to host the levels I imagine.
Might make sense to build it separately from the game and market it as an add-on and/or in-app-purchase.

Quote
Now that you mention it I think that I was using those sprites when I was just prototyping.  I didn't keep them because A) I wasn't paying the artist for them and I couldn't get a hold of them, and B) they needed to be treated to be used in gameplay. Did they look like:]

Yep, those are indeed the sprites I remember. They look too much like Factory: ID anyway.


I'll try to find time to play Week 2 tonight. If not then definitely this weekend!
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belbeeno
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« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 02:10:14 pm »

Howdy y'all!

Just a heads up that I've disabled the itch.io hosting of the open playtest build.  Thanks to everybody who gave the game a shot!  I'll be continuing development on the game with the feedback I've received here into a closed playtest leading up to release of the game.  WOW!

If you missed your chance to try the game or want to playtest some of the later builds then DON'T PANIC!  I'm still looking for playtesters, but you'll just have to sign up for it through my HockeyApp: http://factory.radz.one.  Sign up there and let me know you're from TIGS and we'll go from there!

 Coffee
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Please playtest my game, Factory Hiro!
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