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Beta test my game (Mage Tower).

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Hi, Mage Tower is a game in Flash. It's a bit inspired by Chip's Challenge. There are almost 50 levels. I won't say much about it for the rest, the game should speak for itself! Would you like to beta test it? That could help finding some bugs, problematic level design, whether the puzzles are too hard or too easy, etc... It's in Flash, so just follow the link and you're immediately able to play it! All (constructive) comments are welcome. Thanks a lot! http://members.gamedev.net/lode/games/magetower/tower.swf

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The game plays well, and reminds me of Chip's Challenge a lot ;)
I didn't get too far, but it seems like a game that could glue me to the screen for quite a while if it wasn't for the fact that I don't have the time for it.

The only thing I found that could be improved, is the movements, it's way too slow to respond, and seems to queue up if you press fast.

Good luck getting it out of beta, it seems to be very close to done =)

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Quote:
Original post by wildex999
The only thing I found that could be improved, is the movements, it's way too slow to respond, and seems to queue up if you press fast.


Hmm, some other guy who playtested it earlier, asked for the queueing of the keys, and so I implemented that with an array that remembers the last 4 short "taps" you do on the keys. E.g. if you press 2 times right, 2 times up, in a short succession, your guy will really go 2 times right and 2 times up. Only, it responds slow because the game works with "ticks", you can only move during the same ticks where the rest of the world (such as monsters) moves. I admit it responds a bit in an annoying way sometimes, but it's hard to find something that works well.

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Excellent, excellent, excellent!

I played through the whole game, from start to finish. I didn't have the time to complete the puzzle on level 46 without the second hint, although it would have been more fun to stick with it. I tried not to focus on what the solution looked like, so I might be able to come back to it on a later date.

What I liked about your game is that had resemblances to Chu Chu Rocket, Zelda, and a slew of other puzzle-oriented games. What made it even better was that the puzzles types weren't repeated more than once, and the second version always had a twist.

I wanted to point out that I did find a couple of minor bugs, although they didn't detract from gameplay:

1. If timed right, when a monster walked toward the player, the player could pass through the monster, unharmed.
2. On one occasion, when I tossed a brown block across the ice into the water, it sat on top without converting to a floor tile. (See the attached photo).
3. On the "monster factory" level, it was much easier to let the monsters build up than to direct them toward the mines.

Overall, it was a great way to chill out for a little bit, and I'm impressed by the complexity and variety of the puzzles. The only other thing that I would add is a breakdown at the end of the game of the total time, steps, and pushes that were taken. I don't know how much it would reward the player, but it'd at least be helpful for you. (I.E. I might have sent you my stats for analysis).

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

EDIT: As a matter of fact, I don't think this is a bug. I think there was a floor tile below the brown block, so it didn't slide further.

[Edited by - anothrguitarist on January 23, 2009 10:57:29 PM]

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Thanks for the thorough testing!

1. Is indeed a bug. As a matter of fact, I had only noticed this bug while carrying the sword, I didn't know it could also happen at a moment where you should in fact die.
2. Is indeed not a bug, there was a floor tile, probably from a previous block =)
3. Monster Factory is a bit a weird level, but when I tried it, it could go faster with the help of blocks, because when not using them, monsters get stuck in the gaps in the hallways. Though since I've heard complaints about the monster factory from other too, I might revise it for a next version...

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The only problem I see is the performance, there seems to be 1/3 second or something like that lag between me pushing an arrow key and the hero moving. The command queue helps but if you're not careful it can also kill you. There must be something you can do to remove this lag. Do you need any more information?

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Quote:
Original post by LockeCole
The only problem I see is the performance, there seems to be 1/3 second or something like that lag between me pushing an arrow key and the hero moving. The command queue helps but if you're not careful it can also kill you. There must be something you can do to remove this lag. Do you need any more information?


There is a clock ticking in the game. Every tick, everything moves (the monsters, things on ice, ...). The ticks have the speed of something moving on ice, on land it moves every two ticks.

Since everything can only move once per tick, and your character moves at the same time as the monsters, if you press an arrow key, your character will only move once the tick is there.

A tick is 40ms (that's what I set the timer to in Flash, but in practice it turns out to be slower, even when it's using less than 10% CPU).

Any ideas how I can make this game feel less laggy, and still have the ticks?

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Yeah, Instead of the character and monsters teleporting, make them move from one tile to the next, and make it use about one tick to do so, this way it looks like everything is moving, yet it actually only moves once per second. For example:
I'm standing on a tile, and press left, the character starts to slowly move to the left(if he can), and by the next tick, he is at the next tile. This way you also know that no matter how fast you press left, it won't move faster. The method you use now it might seems like there is input lag, and that you might move faster if you press faster.

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You could using a tweening library. At each tick, you tween objects to their new positions. What it would do is give a visual cue of movement, and you can implement this with queueing.

I recommend TweenLite
http://blog.greensock.com/tweenliteas3/

Very easy to use

:)

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