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1472000

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Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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First of All -- Congrats on iPad, Puzzle Pirates Team!!

I wholeheartedly believe this is an incredibly huge deal for the future of Puzzle Pirates
I have been looking forward to playing puzzle pirates on a tablet from the moment I heard about it. I think this is a HUGE step in the right direction for YPP, and for one specific reason: Casual Gaming. The types of games YPP features are exactly the kinds of games that I think of when I think of tablet gaming. Bilging, Parlor (card) Games, alchemy, blacksmithing, rigging, distilling, gunning -- these are all the types of puzzle games that get incredibly popular on tablets, and I couldn't wait to get my hands (arr, arr, arr) on them.

Here I will cover the basic duty puzzles among other basic stuff.

Emotional Disclaimer:
I love this game, and today is like a free birthday. I hope I don?t overdo this. Thanks for hanging in there in advance! Also, I am playing this on my girlfriend?s iPad and I hope to be able to get one of my own.

Developer Disclaimer:
I am approaching this purely from a gameplay perspective, so please forgive my ignorance on how easy/hard my suggestions may be to implement. :)

I have been re-writing this post many times, and I think what I kept trying to avoid was a list of items because I thought that felt too negative. However, I added in a lot of bloat that I don?t think added to the discussion very much. So here is my list.

Logging in - When typing in login information I accidentally hit the CHANGE ocean button. This felt like it would have been a login button, given its location, I then had to cancel out of the ocean selection and re-enter my password. Without saying anything I gave the iPad to my girlfriend and she did the exact same thing. Maybe the button can be moved lower? This is what it looks like on a non-retina iPad.



Walking around - Being used to the way the camera moves on the desktop this was pretty easy to do, but possibly confusing for a first-timer. Specifically, the inability to see very far without making your pirate move a little in that direction and drag the screen (right click on desktop). This could be cleared up with a quick movement tutorial.



Accidental home screen press - While taking screenshots I accidently pressed just the home button on the iPad. This closed me out of the game. I had to load the game again and relog. I am guessing this was treated just like a disconnect, since I was still on the navy when I returned. I think this is very cool, because mistakes will happen.



The PLAY button - GREAT idea. One thing that I might add is that clicking puzzles on a navy ship is not consistent with clicking while at a dock. I understand why different things show up, but new players might associate both of these menus directly with the PLAY button and get frustrated/confused.





Also note that I can't tap on any of the buttons above.

Duty stations / tapping people - The circle of options animation is interactive, quick, and very clean.

Bilging - This is the puzzle I imagined myself to playing for hours and hours laying on the couch. I was very surprised when I couldn?t tap to swap pieces. Tapping between two pieces to swap them feels like it would be a very natural gesture for hours of gameplay. Having to swipe felt very different from bilging on my computer.

Navigating - I gave up on this puzzle, and couldn?t figure out how to rotate the circles or force shapes to drop.

Rigging - Very easy to use. Very consistent from tablet to computer.

Gunning - The arrow animations make it very fun just to place arrows. The swipe gesture is natural.

Patching - Dragging pieces around and tapping felt very natural for this puzzle. One bug: If I hold a piece with one finger, then take a screenshot while still holding, that piece will get stuck on the screen until I move another piece.



Sailing / Swordfighting - I... I was kind of heartbroken when I was swiping around my screen trying to interact with these puzzles. I grouped these two together because I think they could easily have the same control scheme.

Here is how I imagined controlling these puzzles. In the game board below the red box is what I am going to call the ?Game Board?. Swiping to the left or the right anywhere in this area causes the game piece to move in that direction. Swiping down anywhere in this area causes the piece to move down. Tapping anywhere in this area causes the piece to turn. Two-finger tapping anywhere in this area causes the piece to fall to the bottom at full-speed, similar to holding the spacebar on a computer. An alternative could be having the pieces fall at max speed only while two fingers are pressed on the screen.



There is one reason in particular that I was saddened by the control scheme of these two puzzles - when you are dragging the piece downwards with your hand, you can?t see it! I found myself lifting my finger again and again to see what piece I was dragging. With this new scheme I explained above (much like remote desktop apps I have seen) I think gameplay and pillaging will be much more natural on a tablet.

Thank you for reading through my critique! I hope this feedback is helpful.

Smooth Sailing
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by 1472000 at Jun 20, 2013 6:29:34 PM]
[Jun 20, 2013 6:28:47 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
wrs1864b

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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Thanks for the review and all the screen shots. Not being able to see it first hand, I found it very informative.
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Algol can not assert the truth of all statements in this post and still be consistent.
[Jun 20, 2013 7:05:04 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
JamesStGeorg



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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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Humm. For me overall not at all good. Sadly, I had hoped it would be a boost to the game. Yes much of the graphics though different work well. The biggest error it strikes me is the sudden launch, without a period for existing players to react so you could sort things out better before the chance of new players getting to try it.

For me gunning, impossible, carp worse! Rumble ok but charged balls just blew up the target and do not work at all. SF ugh, useable just, drag down? As replacement for space bar? Rigging is fine. Sails like SF, passable just. Bilge ok.

I fear the bigger issue will turn out to be the tiny size of the puzzle boards, as a result of not being able to play them vertically and full screen. I use a stylus, which helps, rather than a big hand in the way all the time and is a bit more 'pointy' than fingers for accuracy.

Also testing SF via puzzles it took me straight to an inn and a pvp gambling page, bad idea if new players get dumped there as they will not know how, or that there are bots to play with.

Worrying. The puzzle playing is terrible, in a puzzle based game. Most of the prettification of menus is good. Hate to say it but feels like a vital opportunity missed. Still hopefully I am wrong and children will get on with it much better than me. Tiny fingers will help!
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[Jun 20, 2013 7:22:59 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Prometheus
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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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As the OP doubles as a bit of a primer on the basics of puzzling on the tablet as well as the UI I've whisked this thread to TTQ&A.

As far as overall critiques and discussion of the tablet release please direct them towards this thread in GD. Thanks!

- Pro
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Belthazar451

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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Unfortunately, I'm going to have to make a choice between having a decent Maps app, and being able to play PP on my iPad.

It's a difficult choice...
[Jun 21, 2013 1:47:32 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
eeyore_guy

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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Unfortunately, I'm going to have to make a choice between having a decent Maps app, and being able to play PP on my iPad.

It's a difficult choice...


You do realize that there is a downloadable Google Maps application that can be used in place of Apple Maps?
[Jun 21, 2013 10:59:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    Chalk    Chalk    Chalk [Link]  Go to top 
Belthazar451

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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Yep. Don't like the Google Maps interface, though.
[Jun 21, 2013 4:23:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Twittly

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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Yep. Don't like the Google Maps interface, though.

Wait so what do you have on ios5 atm?
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[Jun 21, 2013 4:34:00 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Belthazar451

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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... Apple Maps. The one that works.

Sorry, can you reword that question?

Edit: Ok, I've finally upgraded to iOS 6 and downloaded the PP app. It's... interesting. Only tried SF and SW so far, but SF makes me sad. None of my usual instincts work, and I can't seem to operate it with any speed.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by Belthazar451 at Jun 22, 2013 8:04:51 AM]
[Jun 22, 2013 12:19:44 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Twittly

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Re: Puzzle Pirates iPad: A Hearty Critique of A Milestone Reply to this Post
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... Apple Maps. The one that works.

Sorry, can you reword that question?

Apple Maps wasn't on iOS 5 though ;) Google was. :D

Anyway you like iOS 5 mapping software better than iOS6. Understandable.
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[Jun 22, 2013 9:01:05 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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