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tcarr

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Logical Crafting: Loosejaw contestant feedback thread Reply to this Post
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This thread is for feedback on Loosejaw for those entering the Logical Crafting event. The logic puzzle part will be posted on July 13th; see the thread in Events for details. One lucky winner will get a sloop named either "Logical Loosejaw", "Puzzled Loosejaw" or "Crafty Loosejaw", on any ocean. Runners-up (if any) will get a small prize as well (in round one it was chocolate chip cookies). In addition, the winner and any runners-up will have the option of choosing one of the pirate names to be used in the next logic puzzle. Those who make runner-up in 3+ rounds will get a choice of a nicer prize when the contest finishes completely.

Go here to start.

After you are familiar with Loosejaw, you can start posting your feedback to this thread. Please do not spam the thread, but you are definitely encouraged to post multiple times, as you think of new things to say. JD will reply to some of the design and programming comments. JD and Tcarr will each read every single post, even if we do not reply.

Please note that Loosejaw is a Flash prototype. You will need the latest Flash plug-in for it to work.

Easy questions (one or two points each):
  • Was the quickstart helpful in learning how to play?
  • How easy was it to learn to play?
  • What is the addiction factor? Do you have to force yourself to play it a few more times in order to give decent feedback, or does it tempt you to keep playing when you have other things to do? (or somewhere in the middle)
  • Separate from the addiction, is playing the game fun?
  • Does the analogy work for furnishing?
  • Approximately how long does it take you to play a typical game on a given level, using the default end condition of 25 pieces of furniture? Does this time feel too long, too short, or about right?
  • What do you think of the default conveyor speed? Too fast or too slow, or about right?
  • What is your favorite part of the game?
More challenging questions (points awarded based on usefulness of answer):
  • If you had to choose only one of the options below for increasing difficulty, which would be a better method? Better meaning tougher but not frustratingly tough.
    • Increasing the number of colors
    • Increasing the conveyor speed
    • Increasing the number of pieces required for furniture.

  • If you played with the "Score Scaling" slider, did you notice a difference in the game at the lowest setting versus the highest setting?
  • If you had a preference for the Score Scaling slider, which setting did you find the most fun? Low, middle, high?
  • The occasional bug regarding overlapping pieces is known. If you spot other bugs, please report them. If you can tell how to reproduce the bug, it is worth more points.
  • If there is something that you think would significantly help the game, please post about it as well. What would make the game more fun?
Deadline for entries to this thread is noon Pacific, Sunday July 15th.

edited by CraftingProj at Tcarr's request, to fix the dates.
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LordKalvan of Otherwhen, all oceans but mostly Midnight
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by CraftingProj at Jul 4, 2007 5:08:08 AM]
[Jun 29, 2007 8:12:16 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Uikur

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Re: Logical Crafting: Loosejaw contestant feedback thread Reply to this Post
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Easy:
1.Yes. It explained how the basics of the game worked.
2.When I first started, quite. The game is simple, but enough to keep it playable.
3.About mid-high area. The simplicity of the game makes it seem so dull, but it's deceivingly addictive.
4.Yes, it is definitely fun. I think that if a game is fun, it should be addicting too.
5.Kind of. The hammering wood is a yes, but the shapes you can make, not so much.
6.7:03 on my latest run. It feels almost perfect, not being so short it's dull, but not so long it gets boring.
7.In some moments to fast, in some moments too slow. I figure it's fine as it is, because the fast and slow parts balance each other out.
8.The thwacking. It's nice to finally see the fruits of your labor become furniture.

Hard:
1.The number of pieces. By the end of the game, I had trouble piecing enough parts together to make a piece of furniture (that is, until I noticed I did have enough).
2.I tried it to see the one-piece point, and all I'm seeing is a slightly harder game from low to high. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be the change, but that's what I saw.
3.Middle. It was tough, but not frustrating.
4.The only other
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Just my thoughts.

Check out my proposal (Project Compere) here. Feedback and/or a coder is requested!

Irinam of Viridian.
[Jun 29, 2007 8:35:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Sagefire135



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Re: Logical Crafting: Loosejaw contestant feedback thread Reply to this Post
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Ill just start with the "easy" ones and do the hard ones after messing arond with the different options more

* Was the quick start helpful in learning how to play?
It is vague on how you clear pieces. All it really says is to arrange pieces into groups and click on them, a clearer definition of groups would be nice.
* How easy was it to learn to play?
Once you actually start playing it is easy, just reading the quick start alone wasn't quite effective.
* What is the addiction factor?
In the middle, leaning to the addictive side.
* Separate from the addiction, is playing the game fun?
It seems fun to me, i like thinking about where i need to move a piece so that the next ones to fall can be moved to a good spot.
* Does the analogy work for furnishing?
very well, one improvement could be making certain shapes with the blocks instead of just random masses though.
* Approximately how long does it take you to play a typical game on a given level, using the default end condition of 25 pieces of furniture? Does this time feel too long, too short, or about right?
i've consistently finished the default in about 7 minutes. with more colors it got a little longer and harder (5 took 10 ish minutes minutes, and 6 was just too much)
* What do you think of the default conveyor speed? Too fast or too slow, or about right?
it is at a good speed for the beginning, but when you start to build up it seems like its too fast, when i go to create pieces i rarely clear them fast enough and i end up getting blocked penalties very quickly
* What is your favorite part of the game?
thinking where the best place to move a block so that when the next group falls you can easily move them to their optimal places as well.
[Jun 29, 2007 10:46:41 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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I noticed something interesting while playing and I wasn't sure if this was the intended behavior. If you move the a piece quickly enough, you can jump it over holes that are its size. Is this supposed to happen? Intuitively, one would expect that it would fall down the hole instead.



I also had a problem at one point where I selected a 5 color game and kept getting only 4 colors. I'm not sure how I did it.
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Magrat
SO of Polish War Fog
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[Jun 30, 2007 3:47:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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Was the quickstart helpful in learning how to play?
Yes

How easy was it to learn to play?
The game was pretty easy to pick up. The hardest part is remembering that you can only use so many pieces in each furniture item.

What is the addiction factor? Do you have to force yourself to play it a few more times in order to give decent feedback, or does it tempt you to keep playing when you have other things to do? (or somewhere in the middle)
Fairly addicting

Separate from the addiction, is playing the game fun?
Yes, with the conveyer speed set right, it’s a very relaxing game. It can be a little too hectic if the speed is increased too much.

Does the analogy work for furnishing?
Yes

Approximately how long does it take you to play a typical game on a given level, using the default end condition of 25 pieces of furniture? Does this time feel too long, too short, or about right?
About 10 minutes, which is a good time for a crafting puzzle.
What do you think of the default conveyor speed? Too fast or too slow, or about right?
A little too fast. I like it set slightly slower (between the E-V on conveyor seems ok). I like the fact that the piece speed varies even with the constant conveyor speed (small pieces drop faster).

What is your favorite part of the game?
Fitting the pieces together and figuring out the best way to get them where they need to go. It's also an interesting challenge when you have to set it up so that clearing one furniture piece will bring two sections together to make another piece.

If you had to choose only one of the options below for increasing difficulty, which would be a better method? Better meaning tougher but not frustratingly tough.
o Increasing the number of colors
o Increasing the conveyor speed
o Increasing the number of pieces required for furniture.

Increasing the number of colors would be my first choice. I like the challenge of having to manage more colors on the board. Increasing the number of pieces for furniture would be ok as well. Though since I tend to stack my color in larger piles than necessary anyway, this doesn't tend to make the game that much harder for me unless the colors are increased. I don't think increasing the conveyor speed would be good, as crafting puzzles are supposed to be less frantic then ship-board puzzles.

Speaking of colors, the 6th color is a little hard to distinguish from the other almost black color. It might be better to lighten one up to a brown color instead.
----------------------------------------
Magrat
SO of Polish War Fog
Viridian
[Jun 30, 2007 4:50:11 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Sagefire135



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As for moving pieces over spaces, sometimes it works and they make it, but for me it seems like more often they "fall" into another piece (the bug you mentioned that was already known)
[Jun 30, 2007 11:17:06 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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1. Was the quickstart helpful in learning how to play?
The quickstart was helpful, but it should probably also mention somewhere that you can use the Spacebar to advance the conveyor belt, since that's not immediately obvious from a mouse-controlled game.

2. How easy was it to learn to play?
The game concept was simple and elegant, so it was easy to pick up.

3. What is the addiction factor? Do you have to force yourself to play it a few more times in order to give decent feedback, or does it tempt you to keep playing when you have other things to do? (or somewhere in the middle)
The game is a little lacking in addictiveness. However, I've noticed that there's a correlation between addictiveness and confidence that you can do better next time. I'm pretty bad at this puzzle, so that confidence is never there :P

4. Separate from the addiction, is playing the game fun?
Playing the game is indeed fun. It suffers from some control issues, though, which I'll discuss later.

5. Does the analogy work for furnishing?
Yes. It works equally well for construction.

6. Approximately how long does it take you to play a typical game on a given level, using the default end condition of 25 pieces of furniture? Does this time feel too long, too short, or about right?
On 4 colors, 3-board groups, it takes 4-5 minutes. On 4 colors, 5-board groups, it takes 5-6 minutes. On 5 colors, 5-board groups, I booched the board after about 10 minutes. This seems about the right range.

7. What do you think of the default conveyor speed? Too fast or too slow, or about right?
Maybe I'm just playing the puzzle wrong, but it feels way too slow when I'm arranging boards, and way too fast when I'm hammering them. In fact, I'm not sold on the conveyor belt idea itself, but I'll have to think longer for an alternative.

8. What is your favorite part of the game?
I most enjoy percolating individual boards through a mess, a la Rush Hour.

9. If you had to choose only one of the options below for increasing difficulty, which would be a better method? Better meaning tougher but not frustratingly tough.
I would rank adding more colors as the best option. It makes the puzzle tougher without forcing you to rethink the basic mechanics, as opposed to changing the required number of boards (the main reason for this being that the required number of boards is exact, not a minimum). A definite NO on increasing the speed of a crafting puzzle to increase difficulty.

10. If you played with the "Score Scaling" slider, did you notice a difference in the game at the lowest setting versus the highest setting?
If you had a preference for the Score Scaling slider, which setting did you find the most fun? Low, middle, high?
Since I find playing with longer boards more interesting, I found the highest setting more fun. It's possible that in terms of scoring, this may cause the "ramp-up" to occur too quickly; but I'd rather see that fixed by adding a 4-long board or a 2-high board than by forcing people to play with 1-long boards for too long.

11. The occasional bug regarding overlapping pieces is known. If you spot other bugs, please report them. If you can tell how to reproduce the bug, it is worth more points.
This was mentioned in the game thread, but the score explodes to NaN if any individual furniture score gets too high (127 or 255?).
Pressing Spacebar to manually advance the conveyor belt should reset the time until the next automatic advance. Otherwise, the effect is the occasional "double advance," which may confuse the player.

12. If there is something that you think would significantly help the game, please post about it as well. What would make the game more fun?
The control scheme leaves much to be desired. I'll suggest the following improvements:
Currently, you click once to start dragging, and click again to place. However, if the board you're dragging hits another board or falls, you stop moving it, regardless of whether you clicked a second time. The problem is the second case happens a lot more often than the first. As a result, if you just click a piece once and place it, you may very well forget to click again to let go of it, so when you move your mouse to the next piece, disaster strikes. The easiest fix for this I can think of is to simply retain the green border that shows up momentarily when you click a piece for as long as the piece is under mouse control. That way, when the green border is gone, I know I'm not moving a piece anymore.
Alternatively, you could change the movement of a piece to be actual dragging, i.e., click to grab a piece, and release to place.
Hammering a selected piece should deselect it.
There should be a way to select upholstery as the first piece. It may make the code less elegant, but it makes the gameplay more natural if upholstery is to be regarded as a wildcard bonus.
Oh, and as for the overlapping and hole-jumping bug, probably the simplest fix is to discretize movement. Once the mouse is enough to the left of the piece you're dragging, move it left ONE square, then re-evaluate. Once it's enough to the right of the piece, move it right ONE square, then re-evaluate. It means the piece won't follow the mouse as closely, but that's not a problem, since the piece has to snap to grid sooner or later.

What I'd most like, though, is the implementation of a keyboard control scheme. Perhaps use the arrow keys to highlight a piece, then hold Shift and use left and right to drag pieces? Then use Enter to hammer pieces.
----------------------------------------
Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jun 30, 2007 11:37:39 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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In fact, I'm not sold on the conveyor belt idea itself, but I'll have to think longer for an alternative.

Some ideas I had for the conveyor:

1. Have the conveyor advance only when the space bar is pressed. This would let the player pick their own pace but keep the conveyor concept.

2. Let the player pull pieces off the conveyor. This would let the player clear the front of the conveyor right before they start to hammer, so the hammer phase is less hectic. You could set it up so pieces could only be pulled from a certain fraction of the conveyor.


I was also trying to think up some better bonus piece ideas.

Currently, the upholstery pieces are just too overpowered, in that there is very little downside in using it. Its size is helpful in giving more options in its placement and doesn’t give enough of a scoring penalty (with the triple upholstery score, a 13 block piece is 57.6 points versus 24.4 points for a 15 block piece without the bonus). Add to this the fact that it also acts as any color and the piece really seems to be all bonus with no downside. My suggestions would be to decrease the bonus to at most doubling (or maybe have an additive bonus instead).

I was thinking you could add a bonus in the form of one or more target shapes that if made would give extra points or a multiplier. This would work best with the first conveyor idea, as setting up specific shapes may take more time.

My other idea was to have a piece similar to the upholstery in that it's a 1-square block that acts as a wild. The piece could be moved once, but once a different piece is clicked, the bonus piece becomes unmovable (have some kind of color change to indicate that the bonus piece can no longer be moved).
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Magrat
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[Jun 30, 2007 12:18:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jes_Roo

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Was the quickstart helpful in learning how to play?
Yes. This is a very easy game to learn.

How easy was it to learn to play?
Oh, I already answered this question.

What is the addiction factor?
Pretty good addiction factor, although some of the settings make it more frustrating (see below)

Separate from the addiction, is playing the game fun?
Somewhat. There's not quite enough thinking/planning involved.

Does the analogy work for furnishing?
Sort of. Like a previous poster said, it's a little weird to hammer random shapes. I like the wood, though. It seems more like you're sorting wood for furniture, rather than making furniture, which is fine--it still fits analogy-wise. But I don't think you really need a hammer. (Even though it is cute & has a fun sound-effect :D)

Approximately how long does it take you to play a typical game on a given level, using the default end condition of 25 pieces of furniture?

With 5 or 6 pieces, 7-10 minutes, which is a good time span. However, playing with 7 pieces, the game lasts forever. I haven't actually finished a 7-piece game because it gets boring. Perhaps the number of sets should be lowered to 20 for a 7-piece game.

What do you think of the default conveyor speed? Too fast or too slow, or about right?
I agree with Magrat. It's a little too fast at the default speed, making it feel more like an arcade game than a crafting puzzle game. However, when I set it lower, I feel that I have to wait forever sometimes for pieces to fall. I wonder if it could be set at a low rate, but give players the option to click the conveyor ahead 1 space at a time if desired.

What is your favorite part of the game?
Sorting the pieces at the beginning to make nice stacks of same-colored wood. But then, I like to sort my M&Ms by color before eating them, too.

Adding a question:
What is your least favorite part of the game?
This is game mechanics/programming rather than the game itself, but I have trouble clicking on/off the pieces. Sometimes they get stuck to my mouse & it's very frustrating. Also, the pieces are so small for clicking to build a set, I usually have to build it 2 or 3 times because I click in the wrong place & it resets. Arrrrgh!!

If you had to choose only one of the options below for increasing difficulty, which would be a better method? Better meaning tougher but not frustratingly tough.
Definitely increasing number of colors. You don't want to increase conveyor speed because of the arcade vs crafting conflict mentioned before. Both increasing colors & pieces makes it a harder puzzle, so either would work. However, with increasing number of pieces, you should decrease the number of sets to make because it makes the game seem interminable.

If you played with the "Score Scaling" slider, did you notice a difference in the game at the lowest setting versus the highest setting?
I haven't done this yet. I will try a few games and see.

The occasional bug regarding overlapping pieces is known. If you spot other bugs, please report them.
Do you know that when the pieces overlap you cannot use them in a set? Otherwise, this is not a bug, but could you increase the clickmap-size for the pieces?
----------------------------------------
JesRoo
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You're in the pay of the Weaving Syndicate, you are! Hempmonger! - The Dread Pirate Chris

[Jun 30, 2007 12:23:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jes_Roo

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I wonder if it could be set at a low rate, but give players the option to click the conveyor ahead 1 space at a time if desired.



 
...mention somewhere that you can use the Spacebar to advance the conveyor belt, since that's not immediately obvious from a mouse-controlled game.


oh. just kiddin.
----------------------------------------
JesRoo
First Mate of Eloquent & Princess of Cold Steel on Midnight
Owner of Jesroo's Ironworking and Apothecary Stalls on Gaea
 
You're in the pay of the Weaving Syndicate, you are! Hempmonger! - The Dread Pirate Chris

[Jun 30, 2007 12:57:55 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jes_Roo

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Triple post! Bonus for me. :D
 
I was thinking you could add a bonus in the form of one or more target shapes that if made would give extra points or a multiplier. This would work best with the first conveyor idea, as setting up specific shapes may take more time.


I like this idea a lot. Like I said before, this game doesn't have quite enough thinking/planning involved. I *really* like the idea of being able to drop pieces from the conveyor belt just as needed, and then get bonuses for creating certain shapes. This would also make the analogy to furnishing better. Right now, I'm just thinking squares/rectangles.
----------------------------------------
JesRoo
First Mate of Eloquent & Princess of Cold Steel on Midnight
Owner of Jesroo's Ironworking and Apothecary Stalls on Gaea
 
You're in the pay of the Weaving Syndicate, you are! Hempmonger! - The Dread Pirate Chris

[Jun 30, 2007 1:08:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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I also had a problem at one point where I selected a 5 color game and kept getting only 4 colors. I'm not sure how I did it.

Ok, I think I've figured it out. If you are playing a 5 color game and finish up, when you click for a new game, the colors will reset to 4. If you go to the options instead, the 5 color game is still highlighted. You have to reclick the 5 in order to get a new 5 color game.


Another bonus piece idea

Marble: bonus piece that can only be removed from the board by "insetting" it in a piece of furniture. So you need to have it inside a ring of wood pieces for it to be removed. Doubles the score for the item.
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Magrat
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[Jun 30, 2007 3:30:43 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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The game also needs an end condition for when the board has been completely blocked and a piece of furniture can't be made with the board setup. Currently, the game just keeps giving the blocked message forever.
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Magrat
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Viridian
[Jun 30, 2007 5:34:54 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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For now, a simple way to force that end condition would be to end up with a "Ye booched it!" result if the conveyor belt is blocked too many times (say, 15 in one game). If you were to hit that end condition, your score would be cut in half and submitted.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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Kenku178

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1.Yes, It is very well explained and easy to understand
2.If you haven't looked at the settings yet it is a tiny bit confusing on how many you need to match, but outside of that very easy to learn from the first game.
3.Somewhat addicting, although best done with a high speed converyor setting, as it defeintly adds to the excitement and suspense of the game.
4.It is very fun
5.Hmm...to me it does, but the look of it makes me think also to a building contruction puzzle, as you are trying to "Hammer together the blocks to make something new"
6.7 and a half minutes...a bit for a game.
7.The default conveyor speed needs to be at least an 1/8th into the faster area of the setting.
8.Trying my best to respond to whats coming by clearing whats there.

9.Speed, and maybe goto 5 colors. To me more than 5 pieces having to be connected is a bit frustrating to do.
10.There was a good difference in scores between low and high, and was easily disernable
11.I liked High better, as 200 points for what I did didn't make a ton of sense
12.I ran into the over lap bug several times. It seems to have to do something with heaving a piece to a spot and accidentally overshooting. Ive also had a block "Fall" into another as it was being thrown down a couple levels. Also, once overlapped, while you can't touch the lost block they can still be score for combos.
13.To add suspense to the game, I think it should end early after a a certain number of blocking fails.
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Wilden of the Viridian Ocean
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[Jul 1, 2007 12:02:35 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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For now, a simple way to force that end condition would be to end up with a "Ye booched it!" result if the conveyor belt is blocked too many times (say, 15 in one game). If you were to hit that end condition, your score would be cut in half and submitted.

I would think at that point your score would just be dropped to zero (similar to breaking all the bottles in alchemistry). Also, I think it would be better to need a certain number of consecutive "blocks" instead of accumulated over the game. Maybe a certain number for when the conveyor is blocked in normal mode and a higher number when in hammer mode. I just don't want the end condition to make hammering any more stressful.
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Magrat
SO of Polish War Fog
Viridian
[Jul 1, 2007 3:11:21 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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I've gotten a chance to play with the score scaling a little more so:

If you played with the "Score Scaling" slider, did you notice a difference in the game at the lowest setting versus the highest setting?
The biggest difference I noticed was that the conveyor seems very quick at the beginning of a game with low score scaling, because the smaller pieces fall off faster. Score-wise they were pretty equivalent. The smaller pieces are worth less, but usually I ended up being able to make a longer chains.

If you had a preference for the Score Scaling slider, which setting did you find the most fun? Low, middle, high?
I preferred to set it anywhere from middle to high. A lot of this may have been the fact that the smallest pieces are harder to click quickly and manipulate, and the conveyor drops pieces faster when the pieces are smaller. Even the control issues fixed, I think I'd still prefer the greater scaling. Since the smallest pieces are most useful for filling in small spaces, it seems unhelpful to have a lot of them early in the game when the board is empty.


It also might be a good idea to put in the numbers after the successive Vegases (Vegas^2, Vegas^3, etc) just to make it easier to see how big your combo was. It's hard to keep track when you are trying to finish the pieces before the conveyor backs up, and it's satisfying to see the big number.
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Magrat
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[Jul 1, 2007 1:27:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Jes_Roo

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If you played with the "Score Scaling" slider, did you notice a difference in the game at the lowest setting versus the highest setting?
The biggest difference I noticed was that the conveyor seems very quick at the beginning of a game with low score scaling, because the smaller pieces fall off faster. Score-wise they were pretty equivalent. The smaller pieces are worth less, but usually I ended up being able to make a longer chains.

If you had a preference for the Score Scaling slider, which setting did you find the most fun? Low, middle, high?
I preferred to set it anywhere from middle to high. A lot of this may have been the fact that the smallest pieces are harder to click quickly and manipulate, and the conveyor drops pieces faster when the pieces are smaller. Even the control issues fixed, I think I'd still prefer the greater scaling. Since the smallest pieces are most useful for filling in small spaces, it seems unhelpful to have a lot of them early in the game when the board is empty.


OK, so I actually think the opposite. (lol, isn't this useful?)
Playing with 6 colors, I liked having the smaller pieces first because I could save them for later, but they'd already be near the bottom of the board. I actually came pretty close to booching with the slider set at the highest, because there were so many holes around my big pieces, I had trouble getting 5 together for a set. Of course, if I was better at the game, that probably wouldn't happen...

Also, now that I've discovered the space bar, the game is a little more fun. I set the speed at 1/4 & use the space bar to advance the belt.

Still, what's holding me back from finding the game really fun is the sticky pieces that I mentioned before & a different poster wrote about. It messes up my strategy about 3 times per game. I like the idea of the selected piece being highlighted, then clicking it to unselect/unhighlight it. That would help a lot.
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JesRoo
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You're in the pay of the Weaving Syndicate, you are! Hempmonger! - The Dread Pirate Chris

[Jul 1, 2007 5:43:50 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
jdnx429

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I’ve been reading all of the responses for a while. I’m going to try and respond to some of the great feedback:

 
If you move the a piece quickly enough, you can jump it over holes that are its size. Is this supposed to happen?


When I originally was thinking of the game, this wasn’t supposed to happen - the piece would just fall down. However, as I started to program the game, I realized that trying to get this behavior would be very computer intensive. Basically, the game would have to check the block’s position at every pixel if I wanted a 30 pixel wide block to fall into a 30 pixel wide space. Only when the block is perfectly aligned with the space, then it should fall. However, Loosejaw runs at 30 frames per second and it is fairly easy to move more than one pixel per frame so I would either have to increase the frame rate considerably or do some programming work-arounds.

I could make the game much more rigid and discrete but I didn't like it when I tried it, it just seemed a little too rigid.


 
Control scheme… The easiest fix for this I can think of is to simply retain the green border that shows up momentarily when you click a piece for as long as the piece is under mouse control. That way, when the green border is gone, I know I'm not moving a piece anymore.


I meant for the green border to remain while the piece is active. It’s another one of those little bugs that I have to fix.


 
Ok, I think I've figured it out. If you are playing a 5 color game and finish up, when you click for a new game, the colors will reset to 4. If you go to the options instead, the 5 color game is still highlighted. You have to reclick the 5 in order to get a new 5 color game.


I’ll have to check this out. It’s probably very easy to fix.


 
My other idea was to have a piece similar to the upholstery in that it's a 1-square block that acts as a wild. The piece could be moved once, but once a different piece is clicked, the bonus piece becomes unmovable (have some kind of color change to indicate that the bonus piece can no longer be moved)



I like this idea for a bonus piece, if it’s not a huge programming effort I may incorporate it into the game.


 

The game also needs an end condition for when the board has been completely blocked and a piece of furniture can't be made with the board setup. Currently, the game just keeps giving the blocked message forever.


I think I’ll add an end condition that if the conveyor is blocked for 5 turns in a row, then it’s an automatic booch and the game ends with a hefty penalty.


I look forward to further feedback on Loosejaw. I think I will incorporate and fix up any issues mentioned from current or future posts on this thread and then leave it as is. Otherwise I could spend dozens of hours just tweaking the game.
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Josephdaniel on Midnight.
[Jul 2, 2007 1:45:44 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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When I originally was thinking of the game, this wasn?t supposed to happen - the piece would just fall down. However, as I started to program the game, I realized that trying to get this behavior would be very computer intensive. Basically, the game would have to check the block?s position at every pixel if I wanted a 30 pixel wide block to fall into a 30 pixel wide space. Only when the block is perfectly aligned with the space, then it should fall. However, Loosejaw runs at 30 frames per second and it is fairly easy to move more than one pixel per frame so I would either have to increase the frame rate considerably or do some programming work-arounds.

I could make the game much more rigid and discrete but I didn't like it when I tried it, it just seemed a little too rigid.


It's been a while since I worked with Flash (and I didn't do much with it), but from what I remember and what I've seen people do with it, one of Flash's greatest strengths and also one of its greatest weaknesses is its integration of logic and presentation. My personal view of puzzle games is that while the presentation can (and ideally should) be fluid, the logic should remain discrete. In other words, while the animation can show 30-pixel-wide blocks that can be at any pixel position, shouldn't the logic treat the block as residing in some grid location?

If the game logic is too tightly bound to the interface, you end up with behavior like [url=http://www.alpha-slash.com/ypp/loosejaw.avi]this[url].
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 2, 2007 2:45:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
Jes_Roo

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http://www.alpha-slash.com/ypp/loosejaw.avi


Yipes, that's annoying. That doesn't happen when I play....
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JesRoo
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You're in the pay of the Weaving Syndicate, you are! Hempmonger! - The Dread Pirate Chris

[Jul 2, 2007 3:08:04 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
jdnx429

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shouldn't the logic treat the block as residing in some grid location?


The logic does treat the block as residing in a specific grid location. However, determining that specific grid location can be a little tricky if the user is moving the piece fast enough. However, this is partially a self-inflicted issue since I give the user a large degree of looseness with movement.

As for the menu opening up, is that happening for lots of people? I haven't had that problem.
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Josephdaniel on Midnight.
[Jul 2, 2007 3:13:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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The pop-up is intentional; that's the result of right-clicking. The video demonstrates an "exploit" that results from binding the logic too tightly to the mouse.
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[Jul 2, 2007 3:14:29 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Sorry for the double post. If the logic already treats the blocks as if residing in a grid, perhaps instead of re-assigning the grid location every frame, you can test to see whether the last grid location fits the current block position, and if not, adjust it by one and apply falling logic, lather, rinse, repeat?
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 2, 2007 3:17:30 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
Sagefire135



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since you cant right click on the other pirate games, id bet you wouldn't be able to in this one either. so moving immediately to the final spot probably couldn't happen.

in response to tanonev, "test to see whether the last grid location fits the current block position" if im understanding correctly...that wouldn't work if there was more than one place a block could rest.

the final spot doesn't work, so it checks the spot before it. since it would be resting on top of something, it would seem to fit the starting location when its clear that the block should have fallen into the first hole

checking each space as you move seems like it would be the best way to fix it
[Jul 3, 2007 12:29:13 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
actreal

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Easy questions

1. The quickstart was quite helpful but it didn’t explain what you needed to do to clear pieces (e.g. connect 5 pieces of any length and then hammer them all individually).

2. The game was easy to work out after I spent a minute or two working out how to clear pieces – so my first game was long and poor.

However, I think it was relatively easy to work out what to do because of similar games on Puzzle Pirates - Loosejaw has aspects of Bilging and Shipwrightery. I’m not sure how easy to two mechanics (sliding and hammering) would be for a greenie – particularly with the current quickstart. This may not be a problem as greenies usually duty puzzle well before crafting.

It took a while to work out what upholstery was for too. I kept trying to hammer them first and not getting anywhere.

3. It is quite addictive to start with. I had to pull myself away from it to get to work which means it’s as addictive as most of the other puzzles. However, in a later longer session, my annoyance with the mouse mechanics (see 13) made it easier to quit.

4. It was quite fun to start with. See 13 for increased fun suggestions.

5. The analogy is as good as any of the other puzzles.

6. It usually takes me around 7 minutes on default and 5 minutes on easy settings. The default feels a little long for one hour of labour compared to Shipwrightery or Distilling. The mechanic of hammering each piece makes it take longer than an equivalent game of Shipwrightery. I suggest 20 pieces rather than 25.

7. The default conveyor speed is around the right mark. The speed could probably be slower than the current default for Ables and then speed up gradually for challenge. The speed should not be too high as to make it an action puzzle instead of a crafting one, but not so low that good players are never bothered by new pieces coming down while making large combos and are always free to press Space bar.

I was making Triples easily for a blockage with the default speed, and Vegas and Vegas^2 when my hammering was on target.

8. My favourite part is sliding together large combos at the start.

More challenging questions:

9. I would increase the number of colors and the conveyor speed. Increasing colors is an easily understood and transparent difficulty increase. The speed shouldn’t be increased so much as to spoil the crafting aspect, but possibly the speed could start even lower and work up to default or a bit above default at high levels.

The difficulty increase should not affect the basic gameplay and so increasing the number of pieces to clear is not appropriate.

Imagine you’re on the boundary between Master and Renowned and each board switches between needing 5 or 6 pieces to clear. It would be exceedingly frustrating to repeatedly succeed at 5 pieces (because you’re getting good) and then fail at 6 pieces (because you’re not used to it).

10. & 11. As there is no feedback regarding what is a good and bad score, I didn’t really notice a difference with the Score Scaling slider. After a few games, I left it in the middle so I could measure my progress.

12. I haven’t noticed any bugs yet (other than previously acknowledged).

13. I found the hammering mechanism very tiring and annoying after a few games – lots of small mouse movements and clicking on small targets. Having to click the squares in connecting order made it even more frustrating – I would rather be able to click any five boards of a particular color and if they end up not connecting, then the piece doesn’t clear.

I would also like to see more responsive piece sliding as this would enhance the fun for me. Also sliding more pieces at once (as proposed in the wiki help) would be great.

It’s probably not possible with Flash, but being able to hammer with right click instead of going to pick it up each time would improve it for me – one less small target to click when you’re in a hurry.
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Donall of Hunter

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[Jul 3, 2007 5:14:55 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tcarr

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The grids are well marked, where the blocks will stop. Perhaps a simple rounding to nearest grid (without moving yet), then checking to see if that gives the right sized hole below, and if so, dropping?
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LordKalvan of Otherwhen, all oceans but mostly Midnight
[Jul 3, 2007 5:15:52 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Patetch

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I don't know - I like being able to move it over gaps because you can't in most falling block games. To me it is part of the unique flavor here, and makes it more of a puzzle than an action game.

A couple thoughts:
I agree that the default speed should start slower and build up to about where it is now - that is about the edge of my comfort level for a crafting puzzle. Having the spacebar advance the conveyor belt is nice when you are ready but the slower speed is great when you are thinking. The most comfortable level still seems to be about where the N is in "Conveyor."

Is there a purpose for the different upholstry? (I can't remember.) If there isn't, then I suggest that you limit it to one piece that behaves as it does now and then maybe have a couple others do different things or are different sizes. Not too many because it might be tricky remembering what each does. An interesting pice might be one that binds itself to the wood when placed (maybe it auto connects all adjacent (to the piece) wood of the same type.

Yes, the individual hammer clicks are a bit tedious, however, the way I play I would not want to have it auto select the first five in the immediate vicinity. I tend to stack up way more than I need and then sometimes I can pull out all the one and two length pieces then go back and make a set with the bigger ones. If I don't have enough for two sets in a stack I just pull as many big pieces as I can and often work around the one tile pieces. Other times if you pull the wrong one out some will drop away and get separated from the group. If it auto selected that strategy would be lost. Maybe a click or drag? So you can still click individual pieces or you could drag over an area.

Part of my strategy is to wait for a long piece on the bottom row of the conveyor belt and then grab the hammer while that piece slowly advances. It gives the most time to clear before pieces start falling again. So whether you want that ability on the higher levels or not, I don't know.

I think it would be best to keep the furniture at a constant number of pieces (I'm used to five.) It seems that it would be entirely too confusing to have different amounts.

I am glad to see the end game, but it would be nice if it were more like shipwright - not stopping automitically when you reach the target. I think it would be nice if it let you finish up and ended when you put the hammer down.
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Pletoo of Sage
[Jul 3, 2007 7:21:52 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
kierra214

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I don't know - I like being able to move it over gaps because you can't in most falling block games. To me it is part of the unique flavor here, and makes it more of a puzzle than an action game.

The problem I see with keeping the gap jumping as it currently stands is that it introduces a twitch element that most of the puzzles don't have (the exception being gunning). If you don't jump the piece right, you can miss and have it fall anyway. If the jumping stays in, there should be a way to specify "I want to jump that hole" vs "I want the piece to fall" other than mouse speed. Otherwise things like lag or just not doing it quite right could royally mess some people up in this puzzle.

 
I am glad to see the end game, but it would be nice if it were more like shipwright - not stopping automitically when you reach the target. I think it would be nice if it let you finish up and ended when you put the hammer down.

I thought that at first as well. But thinking about it more, I like the fact that this game would have a different strategy system than shipwrightery. Switching to ending when the last hammer session is over would end up with exactly the same optimal strategy as SW: try to get large combos with big pieces at the end, finish your next-to-last combo one away from the last piece in the order, end with as large a combo as possible. I think variety would be better. On the other hand, there may be less of a scoring ceiling if you go with a more open-ended game (possibly avoiding the distilling problem).

What does everyone else think?
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Magrat
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[Jul 3, 2007 8:19:09 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tcarr

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Due to the Widow Queen's attack on Beta this coming Saturday, I find myself forced to modify the time schedule for the Loosejaw round.

The Loosejaw logic puzzle will be posted on July 13th. New deadline for the Loosejaw portion of this event ends noon Sunday, July 15th. Feedback to this thread continues until the new deadline.

CraftingProj, when you have a moment, please edit the first post in this thread to give the new times. Thankee!
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LordKalvan of Otherwhen, all oceans but mostly Midnight
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