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Introducing: Bob the Blob

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Three months ago, I made a New Years Resolution to create a game that is 99% production-ready by the end of March. Originally, I was going to make Battleship. Then I got sidetracked making an XNA GUI library and eventually lost focus and went on to other things.

A month later I was working on BetterMUD 2.0 again, but as usual, life intervened and I lost momentum on it.


A few days ago, Pouya reminded me that March is almost over, and I have not gotten anywhere. So, I sprung into action to make a simple new game. And voila!

BOB THE BLOB!!!!


I tried uploading it to the GDNet showcase (one of those "features" I had paid for), but I keep getting this error, so for now, it's hosted on my website.

Quote:

shotgraph.image.1 error '80020009'
Your palette size is too big for unregistered version of ShotGraph
/community/forums/mod/gds/upload.asp, line 42



Screenshots:






Instructions are included.


Have fun!


Update: I uploaded a new version with the fixes that Hattan pointed out.
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BTW, Pouya already hacked it to give huge scores. But his version can give you SARS, so I wouldn't trust it.

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Looks good. Good daily puzzle fodder.

Bugs: Drooling graphics, specifically the column-sizer on the highscore dialog and the lack of redraw when the "do you want to see the high scores" box.

Good work.

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Original post by johnhattan
Looks good. Good daily puzzle fodder.

Bugs: Drooling graphics, specifically the column-sizer on the highscore dialog and the lack of redraw when the "do you want to see the high scores" box.

Good work.


Fixed.


I briefly contemplated making a Hex version, but I figured it would probably make it even easier to get high scores, and I'm wracking my brain trying to figure out ways to make the game more difficult.


So I'm currently trying to list new features for a potential version 2.0

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Quite fun, but I wish there was some way to loose. Maybe if you were limited in the number of color changes you were allowed, but then you'd need to verify for each level that you could actually beat it in that many moves *shrug*.

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Original post by Driv3MeFar
Quite fun, but I wish there was some way to loose. Maybe if you were limited in the number of color changes you were allowed, but then you'd need to verify for each level that you could actually beat it in that many moves *shrug*.



I thought of that, but I don't know of a formula to calculate a max number of moves.


I'll be thinking of more stuff too.

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I'm trying to figure out what could be considered a viable strategy. Seems like giving your blob as much surface area as possible is key to growing fast, so you have to try to make as many little tendrils as you can. A tree-shaped blob is more effective than a round one.

As it stands, it seems that balance is a matter of finding a balance of number-of-colors and board-size so the game plays in a reasonable time without getting boring.

Hex isn't a bad idea. My thought to make the game a bit more interesting is to give the colors a bit more "affinity" when placing 'em so that there are more large blocks and tendrils on the screen. Seems like the gameplay bogs down (albeit shortly) when there's little more than single blocks around you. Making the board less random and a bit more tendrilly might make it more fun.

If you want to give it a little more pizzaz (i.e. un-diamondify it), you could always add some little bonus bits like wildcard squares or "auto-tendrilizer" squares that cause a tendril to grow from your blob into an unexplored area.


(and yes I realized that there are about four neologisms in this post. Game development is a new field, so it's a must.)

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This is a good solid game idea. After playing a couple of times, the following occurred to me:

1) I think your scoring system is inappropriate. I don't yet have a viable alternative for you. However, I am reminded of when I took Hexircuit/Cowhead from a score based system and made it a time based system. I'm thinking Bob needs a "number of moves" based system, but I'm not certain yet. Also, high scores for this game will only be valid in the context of games of the same size, naturally.

2) I think this game needs a "special move" that, when applied strategically, really adds to the interest of the game. I suggest for this a 3 use "absorb mitochondria" move, where any blocks or group of blocks COMPLETELY surrounded (not even a diagonal escape direction) by Bob become absorbed to his current color. This would be the only way to absorb multiple colors at the same time.

3) Put a minimum size for width and height. I imagine 4 would be an ideal candidate. BTW, a 1x1 board cannot be won, as I take it that your "check for win" function occurs only after a move is made, which is impossible to do in 1x1. In addition, a too narrow board gets rid of the move/score readout. Put these into a statusstrip.

4) Have the game remember the size from last time. Have a few common sizes to choose from, as well as "custom". Have the ability to link width and height, so that if I want to play 100x100 or any other square board, I don't have to change two spinners.

5) Have the game attempt to autosize the tiles based on screen dimensions and the board size chosen.

6) I see no reason that Bob needs to start out in the upper left corner. Perhaps he starts randomly, or perhaps the player sets his beginning position. In any case, starting positions should be limited to single blocks.

7) Rounded rectangles would immediately make this look 1000% better.

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