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bobbyb1980

GemJam - Help test this new game concept

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Hi guys, I've been developing a game idea for around a month now and over the past few weeks took my idea off paper and into a working game to demo it's gameplay and features. The game is called "GemJam" and is a casual puzzle game where you sort blocks into matiching colours to destroy them and clear the area. The gameplay is actually quite hard to explain but it is really quite fun, the best way to find out what it's all about is to play it! I have no idea how to post images in this forum but copy and paste the links below to see screenshots. http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/PVT/Misc/gemjam/screenshot100.jpg http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/PVT/Misc/gemjam/screenshot103.jpg Download link: http://www.littlelostpoly.co.uk/PVT/Misc/gemjam/GemJam%20Demo.zip Right now im looking for feedback on the game and to see whether it would be worth developing it further into a full game. Please let me know what you think! I look forward to your responses!

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Original post by bobbyb1980
...and to see whether it would be worth developing it further into a full game.
Um, I can't imagine how it wouldn't be - it looks like the game is practically finished :-)

I hope some more people will check out your game (it's very nicely done) - I think making it a link will help:

Link

It might also be worth mentioning in your post that it's a Windows game, so that we multi-platform users know which computer to download it to :-)

My only comments are:

1. Load time seemed long for a casual game (~15 seconds), but this might have been due to a problem with my system rather than the game itself.

2. I didn't see any instructions (although I may have overlooked them). Perhaps though the intent is for the player to learn by playing the game...

3. The game is fun (and pleasing). I don't know if the game play needs tweaking or not, but I'll note here that I got to about 80,000 (I think) points fairly easily, and then sort of abruptly lost on the next level (which seemed very difficult). Would it be possible to 'ramp up' the difficulty more smoothly? Also, it seems maybe one shouldn't be able to do that well on the first try - but maybe that's part of being a 'casual game' (not too difficult to get into). I guess the point is that I didn't feel quite challenged enough.

4. I noticed the timer doesn't count down in seconds, but in larger intervals (~2 seconds). This seemed a little counterintuitive, but that might just be me.

Note that these are not criticisms! I'm only offering these comments because the game seems practically finished - a little tweaking (or maybe none at all ;) and you'll be good to go.

Good luck with it!

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Thanks for the feedback, I really appreciate it! Apolagies for it not being a link but I dont know the apropriate code to do it in these forums yet.

Anyway, in response to your comments, yes I think I can improve the load time will in the future, there is alot I can do to optimise the graphics and sound to speed things up.

I may include more hints on the first level to improve the learning curve, like you said I prefer the player to get stuck in first and try to pick things up as they play. (Most casual gamers probably prefer it this way too).

As for the difficulty levels, I agree, in the final game things will transition much more smoothly, but for the demo I wanted to show the different levels of challenge available and the extremes of gameplay.

As for the timer, I got the idea of a slower timer after playing a few old arcade games, they always seemed to count down in a slower manner, my reasoning is so that its easier to track your time, but perhaps it could be made into a realtime clock.

Oh and the specs:

PC
windows 2000 or above,
dx9 compatible gfx card with 16mb
at least 32mb ram.

Like I said, really appreciate the feedback, had a few ideas on how to improve the areas you mentioned so hopefully i'll be able to implement them soon.

How was you attention levels throughout the game. Did you feel compelled to play again after you finished?

If there are any features you'd like to see to improve it please let me know! :)

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...I prefer the player to get stuck in first and try to pick things up as they play. (Most casual gamers probably prefer it this way too).
Sure, that makes sense.
Quote:
As for the difficulty levels, I agree, in the final game things will transition much more smoothly, but for the demo I wanted to show the different levels of challenge available and the extremes of gameplay.
Ah, I see :)
Quote:
As for the timer, I got the idea of a slower timer after playing a few old arcade games, they always seemed to count down in a slower manner, my reasoning is so that its easier to track your time, but perhaps it could be made into a realtime clock.
I think the thing that bothered me about the timer was that I couldn't use my own 'internal' clock; I had to keep glancing over to see how it was progressing. If it counted down in seconds (an interval that we're all used to and have internalized to some degree), you could glance at the timer, get a sense of how much time you had left, and then ignore it for a while and concentrate on gameplay.

That's just my opinion though :)
Quote:
How was you attention levels throughout the game. Did you feel compelled to play again after you finished?
IMO the game is compelling, not only because of the gameplay but also because the graphics, animations, sounds, and UI are all very pleasing. So I wouldn't make any significant changes in that area were I you.

So my only suggestions are to change the timer (again, just an opinion) and tweak the progression of difficulty from level to level (which you intend to do anyway).

Be sure to post back when you have an updated version available for download :)

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