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BovineFury

Try my Unity3D browser based game, comments wanted

19 posts in this topic

A while ago I made a puzzle game with XNA. I've now fixed up some issues people had the last time I posted here, ported it to Unity, got it working from browers and need people to give it a try.

Browser Version:
[url="http://bovinefury.com/LifeTaxesAndDeathFiles/ltd_unity/play.html"]http://bovinefury.co...unity/play.html[/url]

[url="http://imgur.com/bHx1o"][img]http://i.imgur.com/bHx1ol.png[/img][/url]

[url="http://imgur.com/9ukxj"][img]http://i.imgur.com/9ukxjl.png[/img][/url]

[url="http://imgur.com/GOKt5"][img]http://i.imgur.com/GOKt5l.png[/img][/url]

I'd like to know if you can figure out how to play, is it fun, what is it missing (besides actual art). Does it work on your machine? Notice anything wierd or wrong? Comments are appreciated.
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The game looks like it could be interesting ... but I got bored before I made it all the way through the tutorial and quit.

I suggest you start with just the matches then let the player play the game with just them. Then add something like the tax fraud and let the player another level with those added. Keep adding something new each level, letting the player learn the game slowly as the complexity increases.

Take a look at the way causual games like Plants vs Zombies does it. You get into the gameplay itself very quickly, but get new pieces to play with after every level for several levels.

Good luck!

Roy
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Didn't notice the arrows the first time. They're all the way over to the right and I was looking at the word Tutorial thinking "that'll be a good place to start". They don't really feel connected to the box to the left.

A better way to do it might be to have the word Tutorial in the middle of the screen with the an arrow to the left of it and another arrow to the right of it. It's much more obvious and would show a stronger connection between the two elements.

I'm serious about the tutorial. You've got about 2 minutes to get me in the game play or I'm gone. We were just talking about this at our local game developer Meetup the other night and everyone there felt the same way. It's something we're considering on our own game project.

I went back and tried it without the tutorial and it was pretty decent. There's a decent amount of pressure with the tiles constantly being added, so I felt like I had to step up my game after figuring out how to move the tiles.

And then the damn life choices kept popping up and pulling me out of the gameplay. I saw the option to turn them off on the level select screen, but I really don't see them adding anything to the game. They just make me go "meh".

The life choices actually annoyed me enough I quit playing after about 3 minutes.

I'll come back and give it another play tomorrow without the life choices and let you know my experience with that.

Roy
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I know I'm being critical, but it's because I'm trying to help you. I know it's hard to hear some times, but sometimes it's the best feedback you can get. You've done a great job getting the game to this stage.

Roy
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Thanks for the input. Somebody else said that about the tutorial, I just don't know how to go about fitting that in. The game is about living a life, no actual progression like with PvZ. Just pick somebody to live as. I have ideas for a story mode but that will never happen without art.
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There are two options for how to play:
With/without the events.
Auto show events.

Auto show off will still have the events happen but the user doesn't have to interact with them. The events are what make the game more difficult (speeding up pieces, increasing the rate of harmful pieces, etc). Do you think that it should start with auto show off?
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> no actual progression like with PvZ.

Sure there is. You've already got your progression in the tutorial. Just teach me the bit about moving tiles and creating matches, then let me play a level with just those elements. Then teach me the bit about using the calculator icon and let me play another level with the moving tiles, creating matches, and using the calculator icon. Then teach me the next bit and give me another level.

> The game is about living a life

Not really. Sure, that's your theme, but that's not the game. That's just window dressing. The game is about making matches before something bad happens when the time runs out.

I would focus on the making matches to pay your taxes before the big bad tax man comes in and takes you off to jail. That's a pressure we could all understand and grasp right away.

As far as theme goes, maybe you're trying to save your poor grandma's home from the evil tax man coming and kicking her out on the street without a penny to her name. That's enough context to get me clicking. :-)

Roy
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> Do you think that it should start with auto show off?

I just don't think showing the event descriptions add anything interesting to the game. They're just a distraction from the gameplay for me. You can still have the events in the game, just don't link them to the event description and show them to the player.

And don't just keep piling on the events right from the get go. Add them in as you complete levels of the game.

Roy
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Just gave it another play without the event pop-up boxes. It was a lot more enjoyable for me. I quit after about 5 minutes because I hadn't hit the end of a level. I needed the end of a level to give me a little breather from the gameplay.

Your game would be stronger with those little breathers to reset the pressure you're putting the player under, so you've got a rising and falling of tension throughout the game. As you go deeper in the game, the tension gets a little more intense, but I wouldn't make it super intense.

Roy
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Part of the idea for the events was to let the player make it more difficult risk/reward. Some events have selections, like getting married. Get married and live longer (unless the spouse dies) but marriage adds complications (more of the harmful unknown pieces).
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[quote name='BovineFury' timestamp='1354590624' post='5006941']
Part of the idea for the events was to let the player make it more difficult risk/reward. Some events have selections, like getting married. Get married and live longer (unless the spouse dies) but marriage adds complications (more of the harmful unknown pieces).
[/quote]

Yeah, I get what you're trying to do. I just don't think it works that well in this particular game.

Ok, played it one last time and tried the Alien Senator option. There are three things that don't work for me.

#1 -- There aren't any constraints about which tiles I can switch. I can grab a tile and just stick it in an empty space. I'd rather see the player have to switch two tiles, like you have to in Bejeweled.

#2 -- The speed of the game picks up too quickly. I started feeling overwhelmed after about 5 minutes. I stopped planning my moves and just started clicking as quickly as I could. Part of that is because there aren't any levels so no breaks to relieve the pressure, but part of it is the pace of the game itself.

#3 -- The tiles started clearing themselves. I think it had something to do with the truck icon, but the pace was so fast I couldn't be sure. I think you need to decide if the tiles clear themselves or if I have to hit the "pay taxes" button. I kept trying to plan a big combo and then bam, the pieces I was setting up would disappear and I didn't hit the "pay taxes" button to make it happen. That frustrated me.

Hope the feedback helps. Should give you some ideas for what to work on during your next iteration. Good luck!

Roy
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Thanks for the feedback. When you say tiles clear themselves, do you mean that they disapear or that the icons disapear leaving a blank, worthless piece?

I tried adding a scrollbar to the selection menu. do you think is more obvious than the arrows?
[url="http://imgur.com/8Qik7"][img]http://i.imgur.com/8Qik7l.png[/img][/url]
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I'm curious if you noticed the two lower difficulty profiles Easy and Simple. I tried to make them stand out.

The senator has to think quickly. His life is all about making rapid decisions. One of the three top speed lives to play as.
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Yeah, the scroll bar is a little more obvious. Except I couldn't just drag the scroll bar. I had to go all the way down to the bottom of it and click on the arrow.

> When you say tiles clear themselves, do you mean that they disapear or that the icons disapear leaving a blank, worthless piece?

No. I mean a picture of semi zooms across the screen and some of the tiles disappear.

What I'm saying is that if I have to click the "pay taxes" button to make the tiles disappear, then I don't like that one of your random drops can make the tiles disappear without me press anything. There were several times I set up two or three groups of tiles and started to click the "pay taxes" button, but the truck icon cleared some of the tiles away while my mouse was moving to the "pay taxes" button and I felt cheated. I was like "Hey, I worked hard for those groups!" hehe

> I'm curious if you noticed the two lower difficulty profiles Easy and Simple. I tried to make them stand out.

Yeah, I played those too. I've played about 5 or 6 games on a variety of stuff.

> The senator has to think quickly.

I get that it's a more difficult level, although it really feels more like I'm just choosing a different avatar rather than a difficulty level.

What I'm talking about are the dynamics of the game. On senator, you start off balls to the wall and then you just keep going balls to the wall throughout the entire thing. There aren't any peaks and valleys. You need both. With the peaks, you feel the stress and go "oh shit, oh shit", but then you make it through a level and relax for a minute. Then you start climbing the next peak.

It's a dynamic, like a roller coaster ride. A roller coaster needs the peaks and valleys to give it the thrill. Without them, it's just the same thing all the way through. Same concept with your game.
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Pretty cool, but yes I agree, you should introduce the game mechanics in a few short learning rounds or something.. It's a lot like tetris and the basics are easy to understand, but it seems pretty deep with the different color pieces etc... Interesting idea, if it's still around in a few months maybe I'll stumble on it again =)
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[quote name='TheeLord' timestamp='1354836346' post='5007922']
It's a lot like tetris and the basics are easy to understand, but it seems pretty deep with the different color pieces etc... Interesting idea, if it's still around in a few months maybe I'll stumble on it again =)
[/quote]

My role models for this were Tetris and Meteos.

I've been working on variations of this game idea off and on for 10 years, so you probably will. ;)
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RoyP, do you think the profile selection menu looking this way makes it easier to see that more than just avatar is changing?
[URL=http://imgur.com/0bA8N][IMG]http://i.imgur.com/0bA8N.png[/IMG][/URL]
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Yes. That shows there's a difference between each profile.

Sorry for the late response, but I just stumbled back across this topic. If you want me to look at something, send me a private message with a link to the post.

Roy
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