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Mister Donovan

Controlling difficulty in a randomly generated game.

33 posts in this topic

Well, I downloaded this to try to troubleshoot the design, but I couldn't stay alive long enough to encounter the problems with evolution.

 

Edit:  I thought I'd add that I really like Space Invaders and Galaga, and moderately like Asteroids, which are all similar games to this.  But I don't like hard games which are also dexterity games because I know from experience that they aren't going to become satisfying to play because my natural dexterity isn't high enough for me to ever get really good at it.

Edited by sunandshadow
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Downloaded it, tried it, but quit after less than a minute. Sorry to say that, but I found it boring.

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Well, I downloaded this to try to troubleshoot the design, but I couldn't stay alive long enough to encounter the problems with evolution.

 

Edit:  I thought I'd add that I really like Space Invaders and Galaga, and moderately like Asteroids, which are all similar games to this.  But I don't like hard games which are also dexterity games because I know from experience that they aren't going to become satisfying to play because my natural dexterity isn't high enough for me to ever get really good at it.

 

Thanks for your time. I was initially going to ask if you liked games of this type. So your edited response is very useful. Unfortunately, this game is a hybrid, and I'm failing to communicate that to people. A large part of the game requires the player to analyze the alien design, and then create a counter strategy. I never really wanted it to be a full on twitch game, but I can't argue with the majority of testers: It still requires a lot of dexterity.

 

The earlier demos were actually harder! The player ship had a generator and battery which could become depleted during battle. The idea was to include power management during combat. Play testers told me that they hated it, so it was removed. My next step was to create a learning mode, but I think I need to tone down the difficulty of the entire game first.

 

Please let me know if I can test a game for you.

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Downloaded it, tried it, but quit after less than a minute. Sorry to say that, but I found it boring.

 

Thanks for giving it a shot. Could you answer these questions?

 

Was it boring because it was too easy or hard?

 

Do you like games in this genre? If so, could you tell me their names?

 

I tried your game. I will send feedback soon.

 

Thanks.

Edited by Mister Donovan
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First: Is my game too hard ?
Maybe, maybe not. Take a look at flappy bird ( or one of its 1000 clones) and you will see, that even hard games have an appeal to (casual) gamers. You need to consider the target audience. Once you start adding new features to 'streamline' your game, you will have issues with your target audience. Making it too complex will shy away casual gamers, whereas making it too easy will shy away gamers who seek a certain challenge.
 
Second: Are my game features not obvious enough ?
This might be an issue which will be hard to solve. The core problem is, that new features (instead of just making e.g. the enemies weaker) will introduce new level of complexity. At a certain threshold,  more players will have trouble to understand the  handling and benefits of certain features. Good tutorial might help, but eventually you must think about your target audience (again )

 

Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough feedback! It helped me get my goals in line.

 

I think a large problem with my approach is that I didn't intend to make a  casual game. So, people are expecting a casual game and getting something else. They probably feel betrayed as if it was a bait and switch. My game is a hybrid between a space shooter and a strategy game. In retrospect, it was probably a bad choice because I think people tend to like either reflex games or strategy games; not both at the same time.

 

My game is definitely complex. Unfortunately, it also seems to have a dexterity/reflex requirement. Again, these two elements are unlikely to appeal to fans of either genre. I think I'm going to scale down the dexterity element and emphasize the strategic element.

 

I will give some thought to a tutorial, but I was intrigued by your "Nuke Pimping" concept. Instead of making it optional for the player, I'm thinking about keeping track of how many aliens get by the player (damaging Earth).  When thirty get by, it's clear that the player is having difficulty, so Earth automatically sends a nuke up to protect itself. This makes sure that the player doesn't miss the nuclear option. It will also have its normally intended effect of scrambling the alien design; hopefully to something the player can handle.

 

Thanks again for helping me with my goals.

 

I will be sure to test Gnoblins and send you feedback.

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You don't explain that your shot takes time to recharge well and there is no good indicator. I saw there is one of the ship but that's meh. I can barely see it

Same with the shields. I can barely see it.

 

The ships fly too fast to begin with

the laser weapon limits movement, lasts too long, and is far too powerful

The shots regular shots are too fast

 

The shots are too slow to recharge and too weak

There is no indicator for other things that can get damaged

 

The "waves" mean nothing because there is nothing that acts as a wave

The AI has no pattern what-so-ever

 

The game's difficulty starts at the second when you find yourself about to die in most of these games...which if I had to rank it is about an 8 or 9/10 in difficulty as most games purposely do this and it's the result of you messing up somewhere.and not a result of the design of the game.

 

You might want to consider instead of randomizing the AI of every ship, have waves have the same AI.

 

You should also the from the same base and then evolve from there rather than just making it randomly constructed rather than saying "here's a random challenge" try to beat it...and oh yeah it's far too fast. Start it slow and an easy pattern then let then  have the enemy have their stats slightly modified from that slow base, working to some ultimately random formulation of the enemy. 

 

This allows a beginner or anyone for that matter to ease into the game, figure out what's going on and then crank up the challenge over time.

 

 

Another thing you might want to do is consider a reward system for collecting resources where you can have extra lives, more shields, different type of weapons, etc...

 

Another thing you might want to consider is the idea of changing the firing mechanism from wait for it to charge to the player charging the weapon. That way they can release lots of smaller weaker shots or few large shots.

 

You might also want to mention that shots diminish in power further from the point of origin...which makes the charging of shops pointless as past half screen they seem to be too weak to matter...

 

That's all i can think of

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I played until I got finished off. Here's my report.

 

Opinion: I am a hardcore player. Your game is hard. Flappy bird is deceptively easy.

 

Explanation:

The amount of time it took to play to the bitter end challenged my ability to stay interested. Reflex-intense games can be boring, while at the same time making them incredibly challenging. This was caused by the momentum controls present in going left and right

 

In the later levels when I had to really dodge things, the dominant strategy reveals itself, because whatever else I might try would end up getting me killed.  The downside is that there is little flexibility in the end-game.

 

I encountered one apparent bug.

At some point it did not allow me to repair any longer. I could tell it was wrong, because the thrusters were still too slow.

I think I was getting hit by E.M.P. as well, and those bombs that shoved me around raised the difficulty up a lot.

 

Brief personal analysis:

I devise strategies, and I follow them through. In this respect I kept playing until I found the challenge about 4 turns in when the aliens finally got smaller.

I couldn't bring myself to play it more than once so this is not a thorough analysis. If I did keep playing I'd just end up tuning my reflexes to match a strategy, which isn't going to be a common player trait.

 

Thanks for playing it to the bitter end. I hope that I can return the favor and test one of your games sometime. My e-mail address is donovan@misterdonovan.com

 

I wonder if you're aware that every game of INE is different? The aliens' mutations are random, so there is no generally dominant strategy except to use the Nuke when absolutely necessary. For example, some aliens are equipped with shield piercing blasts. In this case, it's pretty pointless to invest in player shields.

 

There are 20 different alien special abilities, and they carry two at a time. Aside from that, they also have different firing parameters, weapon types, and movement patterns. Even though the game is usually hard, there are times when it is laughably easy (like stealth ships on fire).

 

You didn't exactly encounter a bug regarding repair, but you did help me out with a flaw in game design. You may only repair your ship six times. After that, there are no more spare parts. I need to put in a notification to let the player know.

 

I was wondering if you used the Nuke player special, or the retreat ability?

 

Also, what was your final score?

 

Thanks again.

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Well, I downloaded this to try to troubleshoot the design, but I couldn't stay alive long enough to encounter the problems with evolution.

 

Edit:  I thought I'd add that I really like Space Invaders and Galaga, and moderately like Asteroids, which are all similar games to this.  But I don't like hard games which are also dexterity games because I know from experience that they aren't going to become satisfying to play because my natural dexterity isn't high enough for me to ever get really good at it.

 

Thanks for your time. I was initially going to ask if you liked games of this type. So your edited response is very useful. Unfortunately, this game is a hybrid, and I'm failing to communicate that to people. A large part of the game requires the player to analyze the alien design, and then create a counter strategy. I never really wanted it to be a full on twitch game, but I can't argue with the majority of testers: It still requires a lot of dexterity.

 

The earlier demos were actually harder! The player ship had a generator and battery which could become depleted during battle. The idea was to include power management during combat. Play testers told me that they hated it, so it was removed. My next step was to create a learning mode, but I think I need to tone down the difficulty of the entire game first.

 

Please let me know if I can test a game for you.

 

One thing that would make the whole game much easier is if players bounced off the side of the screen without taking damage instead of flying off through the shield and taking damage unless they have the particular special power that prevents that.  If you were looking for a single change to make an easy mode vs a hard mode, that's what I'd go with.

 

I do like games that present me with a puzzle-like battle that I have to devise a strategic response to.  But in my opinion that belongs in a turn-based game or an RTS where missions can be repeated, it really doesn't belong in a high speed game which has no save points/checkpoints and isn't divided into short segments that can be repeated when failed.  If it was a game structured like Angry Birds or w/e, with numbered missions and the goal for each mission being to configure your ship and then play it such that no aliens can go through, that would be a way more friendly format for me, and maybe for phones as a platform.

 

As far as trading testing, I only do design work and writing; if I'm on a team that's actively doing testing I'm never the one in charge of that, I'm instead one of the ones doing the testing.  So the only thing vaguely like that which I ever need is design critique or proofreading.  But thank you for the offer. smile.png

Edited by sunandshadow
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I used to be an hardcore gamer but I'm fairly casual now. I cannot last more than a few seconds.

I'd say the game requires a very accurate estimation capability. The enemies are large in number since start (so I cannot even tell if they follow a pattern or not) and the size of their bullets are massive compared to player's.

Personally, I haven't noticed any strategic component at all, it's just a matter of converging functions. Each enemy appears to require a few shots to go. Your ship takes a few shots to go. There are more enemies, and their bullets are bigger so there's basically an order of magnitude divergence to overcome. I suppose letting the blast charge is key, this would require some tactics, it might be possible as the player is experienced, but with no chance at understanding the mechanics in 10-second bites, my determination rapidly declined.

 

The language used by the game does not say "it never ends", it says "it ends now".

 

I'm not sure but... do you get damage by hitting the borders of the game area?

How often are you adapting enemy ships?

Edited by Krohm
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I used to be an hardcore gamer but I'm fairly casual now. I cannot last more than a few seconds.

I'd say the game requires a very accurate estimation capability. The enemies are large in number since start (so I cannot even tell if they follow a pattern or not) and the size of their bullets are massive compared to player's.

Personally, I haven't noticed any strategic component at all, it's just a matter of converging functions. Each enemy appears to require a few shots to go. Your ship takes a few shots to go. There are more enemies, and their bullets are bigger so there's basically an order of magnitude divergence to overcome. I suppose letting the blast charge is key, this would require some tactics, it might be possible as the player is experienced, but with no chance at understanding the mechanics in 10-second bites, my determination rapidly declined.

 

The language used by the game does not say "it never ends", it says "it ends now".

 

I'm not sure but... do you get damage by hitting the borders of the game area?

How often are you adapting enemy ships?

 

The thing is, in a game like that that is fast paced the strategy is to predict and take the ships out almost as soon as they get on the screen, however this is impossible due to your weapon not having enough strength to reach that far or kill even if it does and the enemy moving and firing too fast for you to charge and realign for the next time you'll be able to shot... and even if you could do that, by the time you do that there are 2 or 3 more enemies on the screen firing at you... all while you're expected to pick up drops from the enemy 

 

So it ends up that you have to dodge several ships, their weapons, try to hit them, all while trying to align for the drop that is also fast and is randomly dropped. 

 

Hypothetically you could survive and kill a few, but you're not going to score high no matter what you do. Made worse by there are weapons, and hazards that you have no idea are there or you don't know are hazard, or nullify you protection.

 

Everything is too fast, lasts too long, or too powerful... or all of them together. Even if you can pick up on a pattern of a ship all those other things prevent it from being any use and all you've done is spot one of the patterns of several on screen at that moment.

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Thinking a bit at it, it might be worth trying to make player bullets insta-hit. This way, a degree of complexity is removed, as well as the unknown factor of estimating future enemy position.

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I wonder if you're aware that every game of INE is different? The aliens' mutations are random, so there is no generally dominant strategy except to use the Nuke when absolutely necessary. For example, some aliens are equipped with shield piercing blasts. In this case, it's pretty pointless to invest in player shields.

I read most of the dialogue. There was something I wasn't sure about, and that's if there was any alien intelligence gathering. When I started I ended up wondering after some time when the evolving comes into play.

 


I was wondering if you used the Nuke player special, or the retreat ability?

Also, what was your final score?

I retreated several times, I didn't get around to trying the nuke. When I finally collected some alien pods I probably made the mistake of focusing on the pod collector. That was all a first time impression.

 

Sorry I don't tend to pay attention to the score.

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Ok, went through it, and it is quite hard, different difficulty-settings or game-modes(focus arcade vs. focus on strategy) are some options to consider.

Another thing to note is that you have one type of "alien," and even though i read a bit in this thread about multiple skills, i have a hard time imagining a game with only one type of opponent keeping players interested for long.

 

 

 


Most play testers find it very difficult to play despite adding detailed, in game hints. I need to know why my clues aren't being picked up.

First of all, let's distinguish between "in mission" hints and "out mission"(mainly the design-screen) hints.

"in mission" -short shouts (shoot this, catch that) are needed, the player is busy firing at opponents, not reading a book.

"out mission" - full explanation of what something does, here should also be explained the strategic aspect of the game,

when i started i assumed i had X lives, now there seems to be a resource-system that buys ships and other things ?

I saw a "scanner"-option the design screen, btw, and for a game like this it makes sense to having it available on default, like you proposed with the nuke.

Say the scanner needs ~40-50 seconds to make a complete scan, from then on the player can retreat and adapt his ship.(and get full info on what the aliens are currently carrying)

 

 

edit:i just finished the game, it's not that hard when using cloak so you can easily catch e-pods.

I didn't realy adapt to the aliens though, just used the best available options.

 

The automatic e-pod-catcher only works once, maybe make it unlimited use but have it consume 1 (earth) resource upon usage ?

Repairing-specials didn't seem to work, but maybe i pressed the wrong button ?(i ve gotten the hint to use space and the hint to use shift iirc, though i m sure usage of specials was tied to up ? anyway, players should probably get to adjust their button-settings before finishing the game)

And the shield-key seemed to give me a bug(or was it intentional?) there was a lot of space in the shield and it was hard to figure out how far off my ship was,

i kinda expected to just appear on the other side of the screen so maybe it was my fault, but a range-indicator(how far from the battle is the ship) would be desirable.

Edited by powerneg
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You don't explain that your shot takes time to recharge well and there is no good indicator. I saw there is one of the ship but that's meh. I can barely see it

Same with the shields. I can barely see it.

 

The ships fly too fast to begin with

the laser weapon limits movement, lasts too long, and is far too powerful

The shots regular shots are too fast

 

The shots are too slow to recharge and too weak

There is no indicator for other things that can get damaged

 

The "waves" mean nothing because there is nothing that acts as a wave

The AI has no pattern what-so-ever

 

The game's difficulty starts at the second when you find yourself about to die in most of these games...which if I had to rank it is about an 8 or 9/10 in difficulty as most games purposely do this and it's the result of you messing up somewhere.and not a result of the design of the game.

 

You might want to consider instead of randomizing the AI of every ship, have waves have the same AI.

 

You should also the from the same base and then evolve from there rather than just making it randomly constructed rather than saying "here's a random challenge" try to beat it...and oh yeah it's far too fast. Start it slow and an easy pattern then let then  have the enemy have their stats slightly modified from that slow base, working to some ultimately random formulation of the enemy. 

 

This allows a beginner or anyone for that matter to ease into the game, figure out what's going on and then crank up the challenge over time.

 

Another thing you might want to do is consider a reward system for collecting resources where you can have extra lives, more shields, different type of weapons, etc...

 

Another thing you might want to consider is the idea of changing the firing mechanism from wait for it to charge to the player charging the weapon. That way they can release lots of smaller weaker shots or few large shots.

 

You might also want to mention that shots diminish in power further from the point of origin...which makes the charging of shops pointless as past half screen they seem to be too weak to matter...

 

That's all i can think of

Thanks, Durakken. You made some good observations.

 

I will try to make it clear how the weapon recharge works, and improve the clarity of the shot indicator.

 

I will consider improving the weapon recharge speed, but only after I've made changes to the aliens' traits first.

 

I intend to reduce the speed of all ships by 25%.

 

I will reduce the amount of times that aliens can fire weapons; this will include the lasers. In the case of lasers, it will reduce their duration as well.

 

I'm confused about your comments concerning the waves and AI. The game starts with one wave. They all share the same traits. The next invasion has two waves, and they all have the same AI. The aliens only mutate when they are taking a beating. The more ships they lose, the more they mutate.

 

If the player is badly beaten by an invasion, the aliens won't change, and the player will be able to change his or her design to beat them. So, in a way, it is turn based.

 

I will consider having plain waves at first to allow the player to get used to the game.

 

Your concept for charging the weapon is interesting, but I don't see the difference between waiting for it to charge and building up a charge. It amounts to the same thing, I think, and holding the fire button may be difficult on the iPhone.

 

You make a good point about mentioning that the player's shots lose power with time. I will make a note of that. I'm glad that you noticed, but the loss in power isn't as severe as you think (-1).

 

Thanks again. If you want to me to help test a project that you're involved in, just let me know: donovan@misterdonovan.com

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It sounds to me that significant player learning is required every game due to the random and learning elements, but the initial difficulty level is too hard for the player to get that chance to learn. If the game is more deterministic, a player can just try again and again until they figure out the patterns and tactics. If the game has an easier learning curve, the player can learn the patterns and tactics for this specific run-through. I'd suggest starting the game *much* easier and adding the complexities one at a time. Think of it like a tutorial, because it sounds like each game really *is* different.

 

I will definitely reduce the difficulty. I am also considering making the initial waves of aliens plain, and allowing them to mutate from there.

 

Thank you for your time. If you would like feedback on a project that you're working on, just e-mail me: donovan@misterdonovan.com

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Ok, went through it, and it is quite hard, different difficulty-settings or game-modes(focus arcade vs. focus on strategy) are some options to consider.

Another thing to note is that you have one type of "alien," and even though i read a bit in this thread about multiple skills, i have a hard time imagining a game with only one type of opponent keeping players interested for long.

 

 

 


Most play testers find it very difficult to play despite adding detailed, in game hints. I need to know why my clues aren't being picked up.

First of all, let's distinguish between "in mission" hints and "out mission"(mainly the design-screen) hints.

"in mission" -short shouts (shoot this, catch that) are needed, the player is busy firing at opponents, not reading a book.

"out mission" - full explanation of what something does, here should also be explained the strategic aspect of the game,

when i started i assumed i had X lives, now there seems to be a resource-system that buys ships and other things ?

I saw a "scanner"-option the design screen, btw, and for a game like this it makes sense to having it available on default, like you proposed with the nuke.

Say the scanner needs ~40-50 seconds to make a complete scan, from then on the player can retreat and adapt his ship.(and get full info on what the aliens are currently carrying)

 

 

edit:i just finished the game, it's not that hard when using cloak so you can easily catch e-pods.

I didn't realy adapt to the aliens though, just used the best available options.

 

The automatic e-pod-catcher only works once, maybe make it unlimited use but have it consume 1 (earth) resource upon usage ?

Repairing-specials didn't seem to work, but maybe i pressed the wrong button ?(i ve gotten the hint to use space and the hint to use shift iirc, though i m sure usage of specials was tied to up ? anyway, players should probably get to adjust their button-settings before finishing the game)

And the shield-key seemed to give me a bug(or was it intentional?) there was a lot of space in the shield and it was hard to figure out how far off my ship was,

i kinda expected to just appear on the other side of the screen so maybe it was my fault, but a range-indicator(how far from the battle is the ship) would be desirable.

 

Thanks for your feedback.

 

I do plan to visually differentiate the aliens in the future. They will look different based on their traits. There will also be challenge stages.

 

You are right that people can't read the hints during combat. I put the Intel Notes in when I discovered this. I will keep the combat notes in, just in case, and I will consider adding audio warnings in addition to the visual notes.

 

I need to expand on the instructions so that they span several illustrated, and easy to read pages.

 

I think you may be right about the scanner. I will consider making it a standard tool.

 

I'm glad to see that you finished the game. I may need to weaken the player's stealth option (another player mentioned the same thing), but I'm not certain. The stealth option hasn't always been the best choice for me.

 

The Fetcher, which catches the alien escape pods, works more than once unless it is shot down, or the ship's special slot is damaged.

 

A range indicator is a great idea for the shield key! I will change the size of the indicator arrow depending on your ship's distance from the edge. Originally, it was going to warp you to the other side, but I wanted the game to be somewhat realistic, so I didn't want the player to be able to warp to the opposite side.

 

This may be foolish, but there's a story to the game, and I've tried to make the game elements match the story.

 

Thanks again. Feel free to contact me if you want feedback for a project: donovan@misterdonovan.com

 

I would also like to express my gratitude to the gamedev.net staff. You've created a very helpful and mature community here.

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I used to be an hardcore gamer but I'm fairly casual now. I cannot last more than a few seconds.

I'd say the game requires a very accurate estimation capability. The enemies are large in number since start (so I cannot even tell if they follow a pattern or not) and the size of their bullets are massive compared to player's.

Personally, I haven't noticed any strategic component at all, it's just a matter of converging functions. Each enemy appears to require a few shots to go. Your ship takes a few shots to go. There are more enemies, and their bullets are bigger so there's basically an order of magnitude divergence to overcome. I suppose letting the blast charge is key, this would require some tactics, it might be possible as the player is experienced, but with no chance at understanding the mechanics in 10-second bites, my determination rapidly declined.

 

The language used by the game does not say "it never ends", it says "it ends now".

 

I'm not sure but... do you get damage by hitting the borders of the game area?

How often are you adapting enemy ships?

 

Thanks for your feedback.

 

The alien traits that you've mentioned, such as large blasts and large/armored ships are variable. There are three sizes of ships. The larger the ship, the slower it moves, but it gets more HP in return. Smaller ships move faster, and have less HP. Large alien blasts require more energy, so they will fire them less often.

 

As you and many others have mentioned, the difficulty needs to be toned down. It is my next goal.

 

You are correct about the shield wall. They cause 1 to 2 points of damage to your ship if you hit them; how much depends on your speed. If you can't stand it, choose the Shield Key special.

 

The rate of alien mutation is based on how many ships you destroy in an invasion. If you force the aliens to retreat, they will change a third of their traits. If you destroy less, they will change fewer traits. If you destroy none, or next to none, they won't change at all.

 

Thanks for your time. If you need feedback on a project, please e-mail me: donovan@misterdonovan.com

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The thing is, in a game like that that is fast paced the strategy is to predict and take the ships out almost as soon as they get on the screen, however this is impossible due to your weapon not having enough strength to reach that far or kill even if it does and the enemy moving and firing too fast for you to charge and realign for the next time you'll be able to shot... and even if you could do that, by the time you do that there are 2 or 3 more enemies on the screen firing at you... all while you're expected to pick up drops from the enemy 

 

I will adjust the frequency of new aliens arriving on the scene. Actually, one of the alien special abilities is called "Quick Warp In," which speeds up how quickly they enter orbit. I wonder if you were fighting aliens with that ability.

 

Thanks.

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I do like games that present me with a puzzle-like battle that I have to devise a strategic response to.  But in my opinion that belongs in a turn-based game or an RTS where missions can be repeated, it really doesn't belong in a high speed game which has no save points/checkpoints and isn't divided into short segments that can be repeated when failed.  If it was a game structured like Angry Birds or w/e, with numbered missions and the goal for each mission being to configure your ship and then play it such that no aliens can go through, that would be a way more friendly format for me, and maybe for phones as a platform.
 
As far as trading testing, I only do design work and writing; if I'm on a team that's actively doing testing I'm never the one in charge of that, I'm instead one of the ones doing the testing.  So the only thing vaguely like that which I ever need is design critique or proofreading.  But thank you for the offer.

 

Perhaps if I can slow the game down I can achieve something with a turn based feel. As is, if the aliens destroy the player, their load out stays the same. The player then gets a chance to reconfigure his or her ship, or bypass the alien design by nuking them.

 

Please keep me in mind if you need another set of eyes for a project that you're involved in. I am grateful for your effort, and would like to return the favor if possible. My e-mail address is donovan@misterdonovan.com

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Thanks for giving it a shot. Could you answer these questions?

 

Was it boring because it was too easy or hard?

 

Do you like games in this genre? If so, could you tell me their names?

 

Hi again,

 

It's hard to explain. ...I think most players, me included, are rather lazy and have high expectations. I think it is also better to state the raw truth than beautify if. I think the first thing that disturbed me is all the reading ...like most of the players, I skipped it. I think it'd be much better if you introduced additional stuff in small doses as the level progress.

As for the gameplay, I found it a bit dull. That the ship can only move left or right is the first constraint, but ok, I can live with that. But at first, I'd expect the ship to fire better and have more diversity in aliens ...they all came down in the same fashion.

As for the second question, it reminds me of the old days, where I enjoyed games like tyriant and raptor. Actually, I also made a shoot them up prototype a while ago:

http://sss-demo.site11.com/

It's a shmup where everything is randomized: the terrain, the ennemy ships, the weapons you can buy... But after the demo, I dropped it due to a lack of interest, its reception was rather cold and not very promising.

 

Cheers

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I intend to reduce the speed of all ships by 25%.

 

I will reduce the amount of times that aliens can fire weapons; this will include the lasers. In the case of lasers, it will reduce their duration as well.

 

I'm confused about your comments concerning the waves and AI. The game starts with one wave. They all share the same traits. The next invasion has two waves, and they all have the same AI. The aliens only mutate when they are taking a beating. The more ships they lose, the more they mutate.

 

I will consider having plain waves at first to allow the player to get used to the game.

 

Your concept for charging the weapon is interesting, but I don't see the difference between waiting for it to charge and building up a charge. It amounts to the same thing, I think, and holding the fire button may be difficult on the iPhone.

 

I would say reduces the speed by 50 to 75% and have it increase over time. That's the soul way Tetris solves the problem you are trying to solve.

 

You say there are waves but I was never able to figure out what is defined as a wave.

Usually the same AI is used in the same wave... and you say that is the case but I encountered AI where supposedly the same wave where some moved to the side side, moved down, moved to other side, repeat and at the same time faced a mob that moved to the side and went straight down from there along with some other wonky movements.

If it's not supposed to do this it may be that I can't figure out what you mean by a wave and/or the speed of spawn caused this or it could be a bug in the AI.

 

I suggest having several stats/weapons/features that a mob can have, but then start with a ship with 1 weapon that is fairly slow. Then apply 1 or 2 mutations at a random interval so it appears as though they are getting smarter and faster... the same could be said of their AI... make it so it is really basic at the beginning, but then as time goes on make it so they can perform several different maneuvers. This supports your storyline, rather than just each wave they have 2 weapons and an AI which is changed to 3 other variables if you manage to get by their speed.

 

Also another thing you might want to do is add weapons and abilities to them that reduce their speed stun them to use. Basically to get better in one area often times you have to sacrifice in another so if a mutation like that occurred from a story perspective it would seem like they came up with some new tech but it has this downside, but the positives are just so good that they can't pass it up.

 

 

The charging of the shot allows the player a better feel for the shot and allows them to get a feel of the mob health needs. If you can take an enemy out with 50% charge why wait for 100%? More importantly how do players feel this difference as this type of thing should become second nature in these games... it's easiest done by having the charge hold rather than release...and likewise it gives the player something to do to keep them concentrated on the screen.

 

I see how the touch controls could be a problem, but i don't think they will for implementing... but then I don't see how the controls you have for the PC will all together work on a tablet without buttons and such which would mean that charging shouldn't be a problem... Just start charge on enter and release charge on exit... I also don't see why when you can have any number of controls you'd go with limiting controls of the d-pad to just left and right. If you made it so you control the ship by placing your finder on the ship and dragging it, you players hand would cause an interesting level of difficult in itself and unless they were laying the tablet down somewhere it would create an in built requirement that the ship stop moving to shoot something and you could just have the various guns/gear on the sides or at the top/bottom.

 

 

 

Also... you might not want, nothing to do with the game but you might want to consider making your email harder to read so bots don't pick it up and spam you >.>

Edited by Durakken
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