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I haven't updated in a while because I took a couple days to step away from the project. I've been contemplating where I've been and how I got to this point in my indie development path. I started learning C++ only 2 and a half years ago. It's kind of hard to believe all thats happened occured in that time, and how I've grown. I've become a good programmer, not great but certainly good. I've become a good game designer, and an adequate team leader. These are two things I am trying diligently to become better at. My knowledge grows everyday and I know that I have a long way to go still. However, I really have come a long ways from the day when I was scripting a mod for Neverwinter Nights and said to myself: "I don't really want to make mods, I want to make games, and beautiful ones."

Since then though there is one thing that I haven't been able to shake, and its the lack of interest in my team's first graphical game Tuss Toss. It currently has a measly 53 downloads on the GDNet showcase. It really is a good game. I know it has its flaws and I am doing the best I can to learn from them. The game is completely full featured. You'll be hard pressed to find a more vivid and lively color scheme and high quality 2d art. It has great sound and music. Cool custom level design and an endless free play mode. The gameplay is simple yet addictive. Is it fun? I thought so, and so did a lot of people. Not everyone did though, and there were some pretty glaring shortcomings.

My first review on the showcase was not a good one. The reviewer is entitled to his opinions and I truly believe they meant well. However I really think it stopped a lot of people from trying the game out. I ask myself constantly how I could have prevented that review, and I know one simple way: by speeding up the gameplay.

How could I have done this? A couple ways come to mind. I could add an autodrop button as suggested. It would do wonders to speed up the game, and assist the player. Having to wait for a block that you don't need to land is boring and dumb. Another thing I could do is go back and tweak some of the levels. A couple of them were just plain tedious and could be redone. One that I made personally was from world one where I made the level appear like the Suck's world these were from. Waiting to get that many blue tusses is just awful. Speeding up the gameplay in these ways also favors the player, which makes the game easier and more enjoyable. A block drop game isn't a brain buster, it's a test of quick wits and reflexes.

I really don't want to turn this entry into a post mortem, but suffice it to say all these thoughts have brought me to a single question. Should I try to fix Tuss Toss? Is it worth it? I know what gameplay decisions I would change, but what also would I do? I've been toying around with the idea of even rewriting it in java and a different graphics API to make it incredibly portable. I've even thought about rewriting it to run only in a window. The one thing that stops me from doing these things is this question: Is it worth the effort to try and rebuild this game the way it should be, or should I cut my losses, acknowledge my mistakes and learn from them by not repeating them in my future (and current) projects?
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hey. *shifty eyes*

in my completely unbiased opinion this game rules. I do not think you should ever give up on it. I think after the current project you should go back to it and refine it. a version 2 as it were. there are some complaints, but they are straightup dumb and only the block drop speed thing actually hinders game play, but most CERTAINLY not in a way that makes the game unplayable.

-games like this should be played in a window. (as a coworker noted "so i can hide it from the boss). but espcially now that people can go all over the internet and play games just as (if not moreso) complex in a window while doing 15 other things.

-refine the save feature to save while in the level. also, this isnt your doing at all. people have a tendancy to screw up saving/loading. perhaps an auto-save when you get to a new level. infact..doing this completely takes the trouble of having to deal with saving completely from the player. in the same sense, put a load in the main menu.

-i suppose that blockdrop speed would be like a toggle. either by holding down "down arrow" or hitting a button, the block will quickly drop to the bottom of the current column and be done. i can see that helping out. even though Ive beaten the game easily.

-plus if you make a newer version theres a chance you can put in all those extra things were thinking about from the beginning. (custom levels)

I say wait because after you complete the current game there will be a large marketing push for it. a new tusstoss can be incorporated into your general marketing efforts. seems like it would just be easier that way.

also of note is the fact that this site is NOT a central indie game portal, as much as it would like to be. dont think this game blows because its only been download 50-some times here. Look at that RTS "Trash". Its a full fledged GAME, and even then its only downloaded 600 times here while EpochStar version 1.0000000454634534 is downloaded over 3000. Thats a clear indicator at the marketing uselesses of the showcase.

There are tons of sites out there for indy games. Plus there was no marketing done on tusstoss at all. Dont read that as a blast, im more saying it has nothing to do with game design, or even with that guys comment.

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