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mepis

Member Since 16 Mar 2013
Offline Last Active Jan 05 2014 09:07 AM

#5120361 Help me with code ideas please?

Posted by mepis on 31 December 2013 - 01:51 PM

Thank you d4n1!!!

 

So (and I apologize for the details now) I have been thinking about making a mindsweeper clone since I wrote the last post. I was taking a poop today and was thinking about the algorithms involved. I quickly stepped through it and thought of how I would roughly program it. Than it hit me that I could make random patterns of rooms and implement a corridor system with a very simple separate algorithm. It would create a much better effect than the code I have listed above and would ensure a random, but exact path through every single time! 

 

You're suggestion was awesome!




#5112790 Gauging Customer and Player Input

Posted by mepis on 28 November 2013 - 10:39 AM

It's how the promoter | passive | detractor determination works. Basically, a promoter will be brand loyal. They will promote (obviously) the brand to to everyone. They will also stick with the brand and increase revenue. They will also help minimize maintenance costs because they typically don;t require a lot of support. Passives are happy and comfortable with the product. They will sometimes promote the product but won;t bring it up unless brought up to them. They are also opportunists though. As comfortable as they are, they are just that: comfortable. If a competing product comes along that offers more/better features, a lower price, etc... they will jump ship and move on. They won;t cost that much in support but customer retention is only bound by the fact that the customer is comfortable. Detractors will bad mouth the brand and will turn off other potential customers. They also cost a lot in support. The revenue generation will be much, much lower. They will also harm the brand name long after they have left it.

 

The NPS spec has researched what the numbers mean and the correlation between how they score and their actions. Logically, I would agree with you and did before being introduced to NPS and researching it and implementing it a lot. But the research shows otherwise. The system does work better on a 10 point scale. Devs could implement a 10 point scale but creating the framework to deliver the question is difficult and expensive. Some companies use a 5 point scale. I only suggest a 5 point scale because devs that have an app submitted to a marketplace already have the information collected for them in the star reviews. It's free and easy metric data.

 

By all means, if you have questions then please ask. I'm not suggesting that this is the be all, end all solution for metrics. It has it's limits like anything else. It also has the power to be a free and easy retrospective analysis tool though.  




#5111861 Gauging Customer and Player Input

Posted by mepis on 25 November 2013 - 09:53 AM

Thanks for the feedback! I've been around the idea of NPS and developing customer feedback for a long time now. I developed metric tools to analyze it at work. This is more my forte than game development. 

 

I'll add in the caveat the NPS isn't the be all, end all tool. It is very simplistic though and offers a lot of information. Best of all, as I said, the system is already in place for many devs to utilize it. If it's something that you're interested in, I would highly consider spending a bit of time looking at the spec. It's open source and well documented on the NPS website. (I'm not affiliated with them at all. I just have a lot of experience with it).

 

At the end of the day it may not be what works best for an individual dev. But I'd still like to raise awareness of the topic so people can think about it.




#5111850 Looking for criticism for my game, harsh is okay to

Posted by mepis on 25 November 2013 - 09:20 AM

 


@Krohm I'm not sure why CPU usage jumped to 50%. The game does try and achieve 60 FPS constant. That might be it. It doesn't jump that high on my system but it is higher than I would have expected. I attributed it to the JS. I am possibly wrong on that though.
It wasn't 50%. It was 100%. But to be honest, I have 3 cpus in my system so your total CPU% in somewhere about 33-37%.

It's still a lot. I suggest to try dropping to 45 fps.

 

 

My bad. I meant %100 when I wrote that and understood what you meant. I didn't mean to minimize the impact.




#5111670 Gauging Customer and Player Input

Posted by mepis on 24 November 2013 - 02:50 PM

I originally posted this on my personal blog. I thought this information might be useful to others though, or at the minimum engage people in conversation and offer interesting ideas to gauge app response for devs. I haven't seen that many conversations about applying metrics to apps after the fact. Let me know what you think of this idea and how/if it would effect anyone at all. 

 

I take no claims for the idea of NPS. It's a metric that is growing in popularity, especially with customer service at major companies (Rack Space, GoDaddy, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc...). I'm very familiar with NPS though and twisted the thought process a bit to work better for apps by using existing information.

 

NPS is a powerful tool that can be converted to very powerful metrics to measure a game’s performance. That’s a bit of a broad statement. It’s true though. The best part is we already have the tools to do this. We already have star reviews on mobile markets to gather information for us. That seems like a very ‘duh’ thing to say, that star ratings mean something, but I would argue they aren’t really being utilized properly.

 

First, let me start by explaining NPS.

 

Net Promoter Score” is a customer loyalty metric developed by (and a registered trademark of) Fred ReichheldBain & Company, and Satmetrix. It was introduced by Reichheld in his 2003 Harvard Business Review article “One Number You Need to Grow”.[2] NPS can be as low as −100 (everybody is a detractor) or as high as +100 (everybody is a promoter). An NPS that is positive (i.e., higher than zero) is felt to be good, and an NPS of +50 is excellent (Wikipedia, 2013).

 

 

NPS is such an important metric because it’s one of the first that quantifies the customer experience and, more importantly, the cost of word-of-mouth exposure. Business has always known that word-of-mouth advertising is the best anyone can get. We’ve never been able to easily place a dollar value on it though. We’ve also had very little insight on how negative word-of-mouth advertising can impact a product or business image. In short, NPS allows us to quantify the customer experience and how it affects our bottom line. That seems like a really powerful metric when it’s put into perspective. We really should be paying attention to it.

 

Did you know that it takes 5 good responses to negate a single negative response?

 

 

NPS is typically measured on a 1-10 rating scale, and in some cases (depending on the business) a 1-5 rating scale. On a typical 1-10 rating scale a 9 and 10 are considered promoters, 7 and 8 are considered passives, and anything below is considered a detractor. Promoters will (obviously) promote the product and the business. They tend to not go anywhere. Detractors will bad mouth the product or business and jump ship as quickly as possible. Both promoters and detractors tend to be vocal and can offer great feedback. Passives are harder to gauge. They tend not to be vocal. There is a little bit of an art to raising their allegiance with a product or business. They are also opportunists. They will stick with a product or business because they are comfortable, but if they are offered something better then they will jump ship.

 

As the quote states above, NPS can vary from -100 (all detractors) to +100 (all promoters). The metric isn’t really measured in a percentage although some companies change the metric to display it as such and make it easier to conceptualize. The metric takes the total amount of detractors and subtracts them from the total amount promoters. That will give the total score. So, if a product receives 5 promoters and 3 detractors, the overall score would be 2. Some companies will say 2 out of 8 (or %25 promoters, or happiness rating, of a total of 8 responses) to make the metric easier to grasp. I typically measure the metric in this way as well.

NPS is typically measured with 2 or 3 questions.

  1.  How likely are you to recommend this product to friends/family/colleagues?
  2.  (Optional) How likely are you to recommend this company?
  3.  Why?

The first and third questions are the important ones. The second is typically thrown in for good measure to rate the company as a whole. The first question simplifies and boils down the equation to something easy and intuitive. It measures the whole package of customer happiness. It’s unique because it offers very specific insight and makes the question easy enough to answer to garnish more responses. The more responses, the more accurate the results (which is what NPS is designed to offer). The third question completes the feedback loop and allows the customer a chance to offer insight as to why they are happy or upset. Anything above a 0 score isn’t to shabby. Anything above a 50 is typically considered great. Anything below a 0 needs to be examined closely and fixed.

 

How does that relate to star reviews though?

 

Game developers obviously aren’t going to send customers a questionnaire. Very few games have the system already in place to do this (mostly MMO or social games only). Still, the process has to be friction free for the customer to participate. That’s where we have it easy. App stores already engage the customer and asks that magical question for us. The very act of having a star rating system is basically saying, “Would you recommend this app?” The stars ask the question while the comments close the feedback loop. As application developers, we have the luck of having some of the most vocal and responsive customers. Compare app reviews to just about any other product. The response rate is typically much higher.

 

So how do we boil down those star ratings to the NPS? That’s easy enough. Businesses already use an established system with 1-5 scale ratings. That translates directly to 5 star reviews. 5 is considered a promoter. 4 is considered a passive. 3 and lower are all considered detractors. The comments close the feedback loop and explain why the customer rated the app the way they did.

 

Let’s use JetPack Joyride as an example (mostly because it’s one of my favorite games. Specifically, I’m using the Android version though an accurate analysis would use all versions of the app on all ecosystems (though sometimes segmented markets like the Apple App Store, Google Play, and the Microsoft Store require some independent gauging). Currently Jetpack Joyride, at the time of writing, has an average of a four and a half star review (out of five) broken down to (Studios, 13):

  • 321,905 five star reviews: Promoters
  • 40,234 four star reviews: Passives
  • 18,862 three star reviews : Detractors
  • 7,119 two star reviews: Detractors
  • 23,915 one star reviews: Detractors

 

That means JetPack Joyride has 321,905 promoters and 49,896 detractors (you can’t please everyone). That leaves with roughly a 66% NPS rating which is considered to be really great! Keep in mind, anything above %0 is trending in the right direction.

 

Let’s compare that to an app called Flight Track 5. I specifically picked this app because it’s ratings are a bit deceiving. At the time of writing it has a 3 star review with a total of 64 responses. Those responses break down to (Mobiata, 2013):

  • 26 five star reviews: Promoters
  • 3 four star reviews: Passives
  • 3 three star reviews: Detractors
  • 5 two star reviews: Detractors
  • 27 one star reviews: Detractors

 

That means that Flight Track has 26 total promoters and 35 detractors. Yikes! That would give Flight Track a promoter score of% -14. That is a negative fourteen. Remember, NPS scores swing from -100 to +100. The percent sign is kind of added just to make things easier to conceptualize but doesn’t mean much.  Looking at this data, Flight Track has a major reputation problem. I’m sure the developers could read the comments to find out why. Those comments complete the feedback look and offer great insight on what the developers of Flight Track need to improve. While every customer response may not offer specific insight, if a lot of people complain about the same thing I would think that improving on that one thing would drastically change customer perception. The comments are a good place to start.

 

Added Note: I have not used Flight Track 5. I offer no personal opinion about this app. Any data pulled was straight from the Google Play Store and are not opinions of my own. Please know that I am no intending or implying perception of 'bashing' this app. It's ratings merely made it a good example to demonstrate the metrics and how deceiving star reviews by themselves can be.

 

An Added Bonus

 

The cool thing about using NPS is that customer can go back into the app stores and change their responses. Data is dynamic. Developers can look at segmented time scales (perhaps before and after changes were implemented) and the entire life of the app. Think about how powerful that is for a moment. That makes the iterative life of an app, and the potential revenue, offer much greater potential.

During my travels around the interwebs, I haven’t read much of anything relating to gauging and quantifying customer reaction and experience. Perhaps this is an easy and cost efficient (as in the data already exists) way of doing that for developers.

 

Works Cited

Wikipedia. (2013, 8 13). Retrieved from Net Promoter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_Promoter

Mobiata. (2013, 11 21). Flight Track 5. Retrieved from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mobiata.flighttrack.five&hl=en

Studios, H. (13, 11 21). JetPack Joyride. Retrieved from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.halfbrick.jetpackjoyride




#5111209 Looking for criticism for my game, harsh is okay to

Posted by mepis on 21 November 2013 - 09:13 PM

I really liked the game, although a tad straining to the eyes, it really has potential.

 

May I come with a few suggestions?

 

WASD - why does no one make support for both arrow keys and WASD-keys?  I never play with the arrow keys using my right hand.

In the countdown to start playing, you are suddenly thrown into the action of the game.  Maybe it would be better to have the game start, but have the countdown till the action starts instead, to prepare the player.

The next one, I am not so sure about, but why do you move such a massive amount for each click?  Since your movement is locked to boundaries, you assume that you will stay clear of the object that is coming towards you, but end up barely touching it, going kabloom since the objects that are coming towards you is not locked to the same grid as you.  Maybe it would be better to move more smoothly?  If it is done to make it more difficult, I feel it would be more fair to have normal movement.

I constantly have the feeling of wanting to move towards the center of the screen.  Is there a reason you are not allowed to do that?

It is hard to read some of the letters in the text, especially with static underneath.

 

Lots of "criticism", I know, but I did actually enjoy playing the game.

 

I appreciate the criticism. :-)

 

With that said, adding support for 'WASD' wouldn't be hard at all. I wasn't thinking with that. If it give the player more options to do what they feel is more comfortable within the bounds of the game though, I'm all for it.

 

 

I've had a couple of comments about being able to move horizontally as well as vertically. I originally left it to horizontal because my thought process was to make the game harder and to keep focus on the squares. Thinking it through though, I see no reason why allowing horizontal movement would decrease game play. In fact, the more I think about it, it might make it more difficult? Just a guess. I'll have to put it in and see what happens. Designing touch controls around that might be cumbersome though. I've never really seen a game with touch controls and 8 way movement that wasn't a pain. I don't know if a good control scheme exists because of the lack of tactile feedback for that. Might be best just to dump touch controls altogether? Just a thought.

 

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

 

@Krohm I'm not sure why CPU usage jumped to 50%. The game does try and achieve 60 FPS constant. That might be it. It doesn't jump that high on my system but it is higher than I would have expected. I attributed it to the JS. I am possibly wrong on that though.

 

I'm on the second page now and can;t see the screen name for the person that explained HTML 5 better in terms of performance (I'm bad with names), but thank you again. I'll eventually move to other languages. Right now I'm just using it to learn the basics of game design stuff. I'm dabbling in C++ with school stuff, java, VB, and a tiny bit of Python. I'm very much a student at this point so anything goes. I'm only laying the foundations right now.

 

Again, I thank everyone for their feedback. I really appreciate it! This really is an excellent community and I appreciate that people are willing to give honest feedback.




#5110804 Looking for criticism for my game, harsh is okay to

Posted by mepis on 20 November 2013 - 12:11 PM

Thanks everyone. I've gotten so much feed since last night it will be hard to address everyone specifically.

 

If I remember right, the sounds issues with FireFox are a known issue with the sound format. I've found bug reports for it if my memory serves me properly. That would be why the sounds go distorted after a bit in FireFox.

 

The random loading issues are obviously bad. I'm new to tracking down more complicated issues so this might take a bit to figure out. I have a feeling it's something on the hosted side of things, or something to do with script blockers. That's only a really rough guess at the moment though.

 

Otherwise I thank everyone for their input! The feedback has been amazing! Some of the stuff I've never even considered. I'm currently working on an Arkanoid clone game to port to Android so I'm going to mull over the feedback and see what others have to say before making any changes. I want a bit of time to process and plan before just running on and making changes. My art skills are a bit lacking, but I tend to get there with enough time. So I'll mull it over a bit. The ArkaClone isn't really for anyone but myself. I love brick breaker style games and wanted one tailored to me on my phone. So that project can be haulted whenever. I think it's more prudent to listen to the feedback here, make the changes, and learn from it.

 

So this is what I've got so far and am thinking about. If I miss something, yell at me please.

  • The font needs changed. I think it would be for the best since it's hard to read.
  • The static on the background needs to go or be changed somehow. I think it's better for it to go? I was aiming to go for a spoof of the black and white TV horror kind of thing but I don't feel that I integrated that anywhere near well enough to pull that off. I'm gonna think this one through a bit since I have no idea where to go with it yet.
  • The background in the game needs to go. I used it as a balancing technique. It seems to come across as cheap and aggravating though. Maybe a plain, contrasting, flat color might work best?
  • Collisions need fixed. I have the collisions set to the exact size of the squares. Maybe this is an animation issue where it's not detecting collisions at the right place? That could explain why collisions are off. I think everyone is right by making the collisions squares smaller. Otherwise I would have to decrease animation speed.
  • I need to spell things out better. I know people said that the directions were okay, but I saw numerous responses about not knowing they could shoot and it seemingly doing nothing. The squares have to be shot multiple time before they are destroyed. Each bullet fired also deducts some points to make the game harder. If know one saw this, then I failed at explaining it. I'm going to have to figure out how to address this.
  • I need to treat the word 'pause' like the touch screen controls. I saw one person ask why it was there. It would make more sense to only show up when touch screen controls are enabled.
  • I need to highlight the menu options while the mouse i hovering over it, and some click response. Seems straight forward enough.
  • I should probably add keyboard navigation to make the experience more cohesive.
  • Maybe I should consider adding horizontal movement. I wanted to keep it out to make the game harder but that appears it's not the best choice. Let the player choose and come up with some other way to make it harder.
  • Add more enemies and make the game less bland. I really appreciate the person above that said they were looking forward to seeing more of the chomping square. That was actually a last minute addition to make the start screen less bland. I didn't think to add it in the game! This gives me all sorts of ideas.
  • I should brand the loading page. That makes sense. I'll play with this a bit. It seems extremely straight forward and something I'm familiar with. I was never thinking of using this game as any sort of promotional tool though. It's merely an experiment and a tool to learn with. I best learn by doing and getting feedback. If the game ever gets polished enough and everyone on here gets to the point that they say, "Wow!" then maybe I'll consider pushing it. At the moment though, it's one of those things that if someone stumbles upon it then great, but if not then that's okay too.

On a side note, why would HTML 5 and Javascript not be fast enough to make an arcade style game? I'm not challenging anyone, I'm just curious the technical limitations that would make that so. I understand on mobile platforms. The JS engines aren't up to snuff enough (possibly making the addition of touch controls seem silly in this). But I don't understand the technical limitations on desktops otherwise? I was under the impression that JS runs pretty speedy on all modern browsers these days. It performs splendidly on my friends old Cele 1ghz w/ 512 megs of ram on Windows XP. That's why I'm confused. 

 

Unity is something I'll look into eventually. I am curious about it.




#5110671 Looking for criticism for my game, harsh is okay to

Posted by mepis on 19 November 2013 - 09:40 PM

@Ultraman I purposely made the background to mess with your eyes a bit. It was an attempt at balancing the game. Without it, the game was a lot easier. Do you think it was to much or a put off? I've noticed issues with the audio before. I thought I had a lot of it worked out, I've only been testing on my own machine though and haven't considered playing other music through the browser or else where on the system. It's a good learning experience though and the feedback is nice.

 

@minibutmany Thanks for the compliment! The warping square moving in the arc pattern is meant to be a distraction. Seeing that, I think I need to start thinking more about introductory stuff somehow. It's a learning curve for me.

 

 

@ferrous Interesting. Thanks for the heads up. I'll have to look into it. I honestly have no idea where to start looking for that. It might have been a temporary or hosting issue. I'm using 8.1 and Chrome as well. I appreciate the heads up!




#5110650 Looking for criticism for my game, harsh is okay to

Posted by mepis on 19 November 2013 - 07:33 PM

I was wondering if anyone would mind giving me feedback for a game. If any one has the time anyway (I understand how that is tight). I'm looking for good, honest, constructive feedback. Don't worry about sparing my feelings. I just want to know how I can improve. I'm not looking for feedback for code, but more on the game itself. How does it play? Is it fun? What sucks about it? What could be improved? What would make it fun? I'm specifically looking to the mechanics and the perceived amount of "fun" for the game. Any criticism is welcome please.

 

The game is an HTML 5 game. It's hosted at my domain. I put this as fair warning because some people are iffy about going to other websites. I just don't want to catch anyone by surprise and off guard.

 

This is my first completed game. I'm playing around with varying game engines as a hobby. My academic focus is CS and information systems. I'm still learning a lot here. It's called Attack of the Squares. It's a very simple arcade game. It's primary goal is to accumulate score. It was an exercise in balancing game mechanics. That's pretty much the point of the game.

 

It can be found here: http://www.kurie.us/Games/AttackOfTheSquares/

 

Let me know what you think, both the good and the bad. And please don't worry about being nice. I'd rather people be honest.




#5085959 Critique my code please

Posted by mepis on 14 August 2013 - 05:31 PM

Good evening everyone,

 

Would anyone mind please critiquing my code? Any help would be very appreciated.

 

Background:

I'm in school for computer science and am casually playing around with various languages coding different things. I decided to program a Pong clone in Java as a learning experience. This experiment has less to do with making an actual game and more to do with designing code really well. I designed my code with a lot of forward thought to make future changes and UI settings very easy to do later on. With that said, my code is probably a lot more complicated than it needs to be. But I did it for practice and learning.

 

I still have to add a point system and UI to change settings later on. I see those as more trivial things at this point though. 

 

I'm putting in two links to the code. One is to my Github account where the files are located. I am also putting a link to my personal blog page (not intending on plugging here) because I put all the code on a single page. I figured it might be easier to follow back and fourth between the various classes that way.

 

So, if anyone wouldn't mind, please tear into my code. I can't learn more if I have no idea what I messed up or what I could be doing better. I appreciate any opinions any person might have.

 

GitHub

 

Personal Blog Page




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