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TIGSource ForumsCommunityCompetitionsOld CompetitionsGAMMA (Moderator: fish)Mr Heart Loves You Very Much
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Author Topic: Mr Heart Loves You Very Much  (Read 30232 times)
Zaphos
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« on: October 28, 2007, 09:31:10 am »



Hey -- I made a game for Gamma 256!  ... but I don't yet have the controller set to work with it, so for now controls are the arrow keys and the letter 'R'.
Edit: Controller works now!  Also, for keyboard control, the letter 'E' will let you rotate the other direction.



It's a simple puzzle game designed around a screen that can be pushed around and rotated.  Each stage is a set of 16x16 pixel tiles, initially laid out in a rectangle, and the player can push any tile in to the 'void' and restructure the level to reunite with the beloved Mr. Heart, who loves the player very much.

The game is in 256x256 resolution, scaled up 2x and displayed in an 800x600 screen, but in a way of thinking it's in 16x16xN pixels.



Please try it out and tell me if it works for you, and what you think of the puzzles, the characters, and the game in general!  The game is supposed to be playable in 5 minutes, so I'd also love to hear how long it takes to play through Smiley

Download link: http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~jima/plat.zip
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 01:13:58 am by BMcC » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2007, 10:01:43 am »

I think that you should make it more clear on which direction the rotation button will rotate the screen. Maybe you could visually show the level rotating instead of just instantly switching it. It was hard to just keep moving, I had to study the level again after every rotation. Everthing else seems good to me, its a fun game and has a cool concept.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2007, 04:08:01 pm »

I think that you should make it more clear on which direction the rotation button will rotate the screen. Maybe you could visually show the level rotating instead of just instantly switching it. It was hard to just keep moving, I had to study the level again after every rotation.
Ooh, right -- good point!  I made a new version where the game animates rotations; hopefully it is more easy to follow, now?  Also, I added a title screen!

(The link to the new version is the same as for the old, http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/~jima/plat.zip)

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Everthing else seems good to me, its a fun game and has a cool concept.
Hooray!  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2007, 05:35:05 pm »

Hah - this is a pretty nice game Smiley Took me a while to work out the "shake loose" puzzles, but I manage to finish it.

The rotation thing helps immeasurably. A soundtrack would be nice to help make the thing feel more complete, but I guess if it's for Gamma 256 that's not something you have to worry about. Congrats!
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Zaphos
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« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2007, 10:30:26 pm »

Hah - this is a pretty nice game Smiley Took me a while to work out the "shake loose" puzzles, but I manage to finish it.

The rotation thing helps immeasurably. A soundtrack would be nice to help make the thing feel more complete, but I guess if it's for Gamma 256 that's not something you have to worry about. Congrats!
Thanks!  It's lucky it's for Gamma 256 ... I'm no good with making music!  Embarrassed

(Also, I updated the game a bit again -- just a small bit of bug fixing and added a menu on escape instead of just exiting.  Link is still the same.)
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Eden
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« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2007, 10:48:03 pm »

Those pixels are lo-fi sexy.
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« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2007, 11:25:35 pm »

Five Minutes? Oh no. I am Not very good at this. Not at all.

Really Sweet game Zaphos. Dig the Animations. And gameplay- haven't seen game which plays like this. Though I can't beat it yet.

Correct me if I'm being obtuse, but why only a "Rotate Right" button?
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« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2007, 07:41:27 am »

Yeh, surely use left/right triggers to rotate the level either way would make it a bit more user friendly... non?

EDIT: Oop, forgot to mention, great little game!
I think it may be possible to get stuck irreversibly on some levels (lvl7 I think it happened to me), so could you add a restart button as well?
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Zaphos
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« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2007, 10:02:13 am »

Five Minutes? Oh no. I am Not very good at this. Not at all.

Really Sweet game Zaphos. Dig the Animations. And gameplay- haven't seen game which plays like this. Though I can't beat it yet.

Correct me if I'm being obtuse, but why only a "Rotate Right" button?
Don't feel too bad Gainsworthy -- part of the reason I'm asking how long it took is because it's hard for me to gauge difficulty of my own puzzles!  I'd love to hear which stages hold people up.

There's only a Rotate Right button for simplicity ... I liked only having to inform the user of one key.  But I guess that's a bit silly -- I'll try adding a rotate left keyboard key.

Yeh, surely use left/right triggers to rotate the level either way would make it a bit more user friendly... non?
Yep -- when I add support for the 360 controller, left and right trigger will do that Smiley

I think it may be possible to get stuck irreversibly on some levels (lvl7 I think it happened to me), so could you add a restart button as well?
The current version should allow you to restart a level from the menu that comes up when you press escape ... if that doesn't work, please let me know!
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Zaphos
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« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2007, 02:36:14 pm »

Okay, I updated the file again -- now it has both rotation directions (controlled by E and R).  It's interesting; just having the ability rotate either way makes me play the game differently ...
Also it makes level 10 (the last one) feel much easier, which is probably a good thing!

Also, I finally added 360 controller support Smiley

I don't have a good way to check if a controller is actually a 360 controller, though, so if you have any old joystick plugged in the game text will refer to 360 controller buttons instead of keyboard keys.  The keyboard keys will still work, of course!
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« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2007, 07:29:12 pm »

Hey there!
Nice little game ya got there!
I played until level 6 but stopped. The game is a bit difficult but it's fun none the less. I haven't tried the version with both rotation so it may be easier now.

Good job!
Guert
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Zaphos
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2007, 08:53:56 pm »

Thanks Guert!  I'd love to know if you stopped at level 6 because you were 'stuck' or if it was just a point where you ran out of time / interest?


It does seem I need to shrink the game a bit for Gamma 256, but I'm not sure which levels I should cut ...
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 11:04:50 pm by Zaphos » Logged
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2007, 03:31:59 am »

  I had troubles finding the solution of earlier puzzles. I think the fourth one (I have to check) was particularly hard. Well, not "hard" but the soluton wasn't very obvious to me and I kept spinning and spinning, moving blocks randomly. I eventualy didi it but felt it had to do with luck more than anythign else. When I got to the 6th and saw that it was more complex, I played a bit and gave up because I'd have to play alot to get it. I'll play a bit more and I'll post again to explain what I mean.

I don't think you'll need to shrink the game much, but perhaps re-arrange a couple of levels. More on this later today when I post back Wink

Later!
Guert
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2007, 05:53:24 am »

I really like the gameplay mechanic. It's very clever. Also the graphics kick pixelated ass.

But I'm with Guert. The level 5 or level 4 seems to be much harder than the next few levels (next level was the one with four pieces and center missing). It was at that point, that I thought "okay, I don't get this I might just as well quit". Luckily I figured the solution and enjoyed rest of the play. I quit playing at level 9 or 8, mostly because I have other stuff do (like my own Gamma256 game). But it's definitely one of those games that I'll play again. 

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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2007, 08:08:21 am »

An original idea (how retro!) coupled with matching graphics. Good work, enjoyed the game, even though it's short. I think the order of difficulty for the levels  is  1, 2, 3, 10, 8, 6, 7, 5, 4, 9.
With two way rotating, levels 8 and 10 can be beat just by positioning your character on corners and nudging the heart towards the openings. I don't know if this is your intended way of solving the puzzle.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2007, 10:08:45 am by bigbossSNK » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2007, 08:35:13 am »

Really fun and original idea, the graphics tho simple are well animated and most certainly transmit that retro feeling.

I would love to see more love given to the tiles, (like thematic levels), but i guess they do their job and they don detract from the character.

Music is a must i believe in a puzzle, and some sounds would be great aswell.

Like i said the game mechanic is great, and i would love to play more levels (just remember to save the progress) If you wanted to give further replay value to the same levels, you could give medals according to the lowest number of rotations/time = gold, silver & bronze;


Also, im not sure, but sometimes it frustrated me how a certain box/space i was moving didnt connect by 1 pixel, and i had to rotate back and move it again...Maybe some sort of grid-snapping would work there?.

Anyway, great job, i really enjoyed it.
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Zaphos
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2007, 12:21:12 pm »

  I had troubles finding the solution of earlier puzzles. I think the fourth one (I have to check) was particularly hard. Well, not "hard" but the soluton wasn't very obvious to me and I kept spinning and spinning, moving blocks randomly. I eventualy didi it but felt it had to do with luck more than anythign else. When I got to the 6th and saw that it was more complex, I played a bit and gave up because I'd have to play alot to get it. I'll play a bit more and I'll post again to explain what I mean.

I don't think you'll need to shrink the game much, but perhaps re-arrange a couple of levels. More on this later today when I post back Wink
I guess the my sense of level difficulty was pretty off -- thanks for explaining!  I'll look forward to any suggestions, if you're still planning to make them Smiley

I think the order of difficulty for the levels  is  1, 2, 3, 10, 8, 6, 7, 5, 4, 9.
Thanks so much for the difficulty ordering!  Kiss  Although it's funny -- some people had the most trouble with 8 and 10.

With two way rotating, levels 8 and 10 can be beat just by positioning your character on corners and nudging the heart towards the openings. I don't know if this is your intended way of solving the puzzle.
Yep, it's the intended way.  Although when I only had rotation in one direction, it was more of a timing thing (since 'nudging' wasn't possible), and now 10 just feels redundant ...

But I'm with Guert. The level 5 or level 4 seems to be much harder than the next few levels (next level was the one with four pieces and center missing). It was at that point, that I thought "okay, I don't get this I might just as well quit".
Glad you stuck with it!  I'll definitely re-arrange the levels.
(Oh, and look forward to your game Smiley  Time is running out!)

Music is a must i believe in a puzzle, and some sounds would be great aswell.

Like i said the game mechanic is great, and i would love to play more levels (just remember to save the progress) If you wanted to give further replay value to the same levels, you could give medals according to the lowest number of rotations/time = gold, silver & bronze;
The Gamma 256 event that this was made for asks that games not have sound and be playable in five minutes, but I'll definitely save your comments on my "todo"-list for a post-gamma version.

Also, im not sure, but sometimes it frustrated me how a certain box/space i was moving didnt connect by 1 pixel, and i had to rotate back and move it again...Maybe some sort of grid-snapping would work there?.
Good idea!  It's going to be a bit tricky to add to my horribly coded engine Embarrassed but I'll give it a shot ...

And to all: Thanks for all the nice comments  Grin
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2007, 01:48:16 pm »

I'll try to make this post quick since I have not much time on my hands.

Ok so about difficulty in your levels...

It seems to me that the difficulty of your game lies mostly in the number and order of steps you must make to reach the heart. A player will scan the level you offer it quickly searching for the first possible answer. If he cnanot find it fast enough or recognize certain patterns right away, he will give up.

I think the toruble is that the early levels require few and very simple steps to complete. "Press forward for one box length then rotate then forward one box again" is simple to find for everyone.

At this point, I see 2 options... A) Create 3-4 easier levels with few simple steps to complete. For instance, the winning sequence could be "Rotate one, forward one box, rotate back, forward one, Rotate" or "Forward 3 boxes, rotate twice, forward 4 boxes, rotate once". A trick to truly achieve a good progresison would be to take your nastierlevels, like level 5 or 6, then make smaller level out of them. Like only half of the steps to complete them. This way, when the player will get to those full level, they'll already have part of the stage mastered, they'll only have to finish the job. You can also tease the player by starting the full levels upside down or something. 

B)Option B is to simply cut those levels in half, making them shorter and a bit easier. By cutting in half, I mean reducing half of the steps to reach the end, not removing half of the pieces.

That's pretty much what I can think of right now. I unfortunatly haven't played the game after my original comment so I may be off on certain things, but I'm pretty sure that reducing the numbers of steps required to finish a level will make it easier. There might be othe rstuff too but I cna't precisely recall everything, sorry...

Later!
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Zaphos
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« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2007, 08:15:55 pm »

Thanks for the advice, Guert!

But, oh dear ... it doesn't look like I'll have any time to rework the levels before the deadline after all.  Been too busy with work this week.  Cry

Well, I'll still make a better version for the non-Gamma set, later!  Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2007, 10:44:08 am »

I played your game and I think it's great Kiss Of all the games I've seen for the Gamma 256 competition yours is the one I like the most Smiley
In particular I love the fast pacing of all the menus, and of course the awesome low-res graphics.  Tongue
One topic that seems to reoccur in this post is the difficulty of the levels. IMHO the levels seem be well ordered except maybe for 10 and 9. My favorite levels where 6 and 8 but somehow 10 just seemed like a more complicated version of 8.
That were just my five cents and I hope you make a more thorough version of the game with more levels!  Grin
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