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johnhattan

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Okay, I've concluded that Zombie Kitten Attack needs to be tightened up a bit. The top players are playing it for 12-15 minutes, and that's just too long. I like my games to last about five minutes max, so the game needs to get a little tougher. I know I mentioned this in the past, but I figured I'd make a formal thing of it.

So let's brainstorm. I'm gonna put the current suggestions into two bags. One is "easy fixes". I call 'em easy because it's something where I can just change one value and upload. I don't need to make changes to the player-app or the rules-page or anything. . .

1. Limit the range of cars
2. Limit the range of zappers
3. Be more stingy in handing out new zappers and/or cars (i.e. not one of each every level)
4. Don't give out two of each at the onset.

And here's a list of stuff that'd be slightly more difficult. That is to say that I'd need to modify the game and the playback applet. Not that it's a problem. All of these fixes are fairly trivial.

5. Make the zappers take up a turn (i.e. the cats move after you use a zapper)
6. Make the number of cats grow more slowly, but with higher percentages of gray/orange cats
7. Make it so you automatically make a null-move if you don't move within a few seconds
8. Eventually eliminate houses entirely

Personally, I'm leaning towards number 6 and 8. IIRC, the proportion of gray/orange cats doesn't change (after level one, which doesn't have any), and later levels seem to be gummed up with so many brown cats that the orange/gray ones aren't as much of a problem as they should be, because they wipe themselves out in the first couple of turns. If you had a level consisting of 25 orange & gray cats (and no houses), you'd have a serious problem.

So basically things will still start out easy and beat-able, but it'll get difficult faster.

Discuss.
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If the amount of time we play is more important to you than how far we go, or how many points we score, #7 is the only one that fixes it. All of the other changes are actually likely to make me play longer, because I'll spend more time planning out my strategy with fewer powerups. (Which I like, but it doesn't seem like what you're going for.)

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So, I thought I'd try really hard to get to 5k points before you changed it. I just got 10k. Muhahaha! Do I get a trophy causing you to change your game? *silly grin*

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Although I'm nowhere near as good at the game as Jesse, I think I agree with him that #7 is the only idea on that list that will actually make the game play significantly faster, as long as the time limit imposed is still long enough for those of us who aren't quite as good to have a chance at the game. [smile]

I think it would probably also be best if the timer for a move didn't trigger till after all the cats have finished moving (as I've noticed that in the current version it seems you can actually make your next move whilst the orange cats are still in motion).

Other than that I think #6 and #8 sound like they're probably pretty good ideas, along with #3. I wouldn't really like to see the range of the zappers shortened any further, as (especially with a time limit placed on moving) it would become more difficult to use them strategically rather than simply as a way of escaping mistakes. I also think if there was a time limit on making a move that #5 wouldn't really be needed anymore (unless it resets the timer), as people would probably have to be thinking pretty quick to be able to use a zapper and move within the limit anyway.

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