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al_Zahrah

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Puzzle Codename: Kali Reply to this Post
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Possible game for a Furnishing puzzle, though would also work for a Tailoring puzzle.

GCPP:Proposal-Kali
[Jul 8, 2007 10:32:58 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
Patetch

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This looks similar to the round 1 proposal, Trout , which was also based on Atomica (though geared towards ironmongery.) Both ideas have some interesting extra pieces - maybe you could get together.

I have not played Atomica but I have played others that had similar concepts and found it to be an interesting challenge. I could see it finding a place here, especially if it had enough unique elements.
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Pletoo of Sage
[Jul 9, 2007 10:12:49 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
actreal

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I haven't played Atomica either, but it looks like an ideal crafting puzzle.

It could work for furnishing, tailoring or construction (although I'm not sure how you'd make it multiplayer in the case of construction).

I would love to see a prototype of this make it into Round 2 (or Round 3).
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Donall of Hunter

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[Jul 9, 2007 6:40:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Atomica and I hate each other, so my opinion may be rather biased. I would, however, like to share the aspects of Atomica that feel particularly non-crafty to me, so that perhaps Kali can avoid those aspects.

My main beef with Atomica is that (barring the atom bomb) you are guaranteed to booch your board. The only question is when that happens. Now, all of the PopCap puzzles are designed in this manner, but many of them give you at least the impression that you have some control over keeping the puzzle stable. For example, a Bejeweled board can look more or less the same 20 minutes into the game. Atomica, on the other hand, looks like it's counting down to critical mass, looking worse and worse with every move. That can make a good puzzle. It cannot, however, make a relaxing puzzle. I believe this was a complaint about Haddock as well, though to a lesser extent, since the player could at least try to maintain a clean board.

Another complaint of mine is the high degree of randomness. This is where the "Atomica hates me" part comes in. Don't get me wrong--I love games with randomness, even a great deal of it. I just don't like that randomness being allowed to mess up every single attempt at order you make. Honestly, Atomica has a nasty habit of spawning a wrong-color ball in the fourth corner every time I make a group of 3. To be fair, this is a part of the challenge, but could the challenge please be a bit less frustrating?

My final complaint is the lack of move variety. Every move you make is accompanied by 3 moves you have no control over. This, combined with the inevitable countdown, makes me feel like I'm forced to make every move, because any "wasted" move would be unrecoverable. Maybe it's simply because I'm such a horrible player, but I definitely feel railroaded when playing Atomica.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 9, 2007 8:00:30 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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I agree that atomica itself is play till you booch by default, but that is what makes my proposal different is that you play to clear a set number of targets from the board, like in sailing, where once the targets are cleared the round is over.

So booching is not a necessary end to the game, though still a possible end.
[Jul 9, 2007 8:11:34 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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And I like that aspect of your proposal. However, what I would really like is some way for the "mess" to stay in control. Even with targets, you may get the feeling of "thank goodness I finished that board before I ran out of space" as opposed to "there, now isn't that a tidy job?" One of the most satisfying aspects of puzzles like the Rubik's cube is that the end result is, well, pretty. On the opposite end of the spectrum are puzzles that start out with a clean board and end up with a messy one. in the middle (and what seems to be the norm in YPP) are puzzles that start out with a "messy" board and end with an equally or slightly less "messy" board. No point of the spectrum is necessarily better or worse than any other point, but they do create puzzles with very different feels. The clean to messy variety, in particular, is not a very, er, "constructive" feeling, making it, in my opinion, less desirable for a crafting puzzle.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 9, 2007 9:35:25 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
actreal

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The clean to messy variety, in particular, is not a very, er, "constructive" feeling, making it, in my opinion, less desirable for a crafting puzzle.


I respectfully disagree. When building furniture or any sort of crafting in real life, you invariably start with a tidy workshop and end with sawdust everywhere and a finished product amidst the mess. Then you clean up and start over again. :)

So I don't think this aspect makes it any less a crafting puzzle.

Whether or not it's fun to play, I'm waiting to try a prototype - or perhaps I'll go find a free demo version of Atomica.
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Donall of Hunter

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[Jul 9, 2007 9:57:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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antomica is a popcap game and free to play online. :)
[Jul 9, 2007 10:16:05 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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I respectfully disagree. When building furniture or any sort of crafting in real life, you invariably start with a tidy workshop and end with sawdust everywhere and a finished product amidst the mess. Then you clean up and start over again. :)


Fair enough. :) The major (mostly psychological) difference, though, is that in addition to the mass of sawdust, you also have that finished product. If you spend a whole day building furniture and all you have to show for it is a massive pile of sawdust, you're not going to feel very happy about it. In the same way, in Kali you will not see the products (the targets) once you complete them; at the end, all you have is a bunch of sawdust.

What if the targets, instead of disappearing, would remain on the board, but the pieces of a completed target would move as a clump? That way the chair you're making stays with you to the very end, so it's more satisfying. It might also introduce some new strategies that would further differentiate it from Atomica (for one, being able to block multiple spawns in one move).
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 9, 2007 10:43:55 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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What if the targets, instead of disappearing, would remain on the board, but the pieces of a completed target would move as a clump? That way the chair you're making stays with you to the very end, so it's more satisfying. It might also introduce some new strategies that would further differentiate it from Atomica (for one, being able to block multiple spawns in one move).



While this change wouldn't necessarily be bad, I can't see how it would be *helpful* to keep the board further clogged by not having finished goals removed from the board.

The satisfied feeling comes from seeing the little labor bar on the item being made go up, or if practicing at least seeing that you did a good job on it.

If there is another feeling of satisfaction to be had, perhaps when the target goal is finished, a little 'picture' of a finished chair or table or globe lights up next to the board (like the stars in bilging) to give a progress to completion?
[Jul 10, 2007 5:16:48 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
actreal

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I like both ideas from a theoretical point-of-view.

Keeping targets on the board will make the game harder, but as the scoring is relative this isn't an issue as long as the differentiation from Atomica means the game is at least as much or more fun due to the different strategies required.

If targets are going to clear, then I definitely like the completed targets appearing on the side of the board. Each type of target could represent a different item of furniture or component of furniture like a table leg or door inlay and would appear beside the board when finished so you know at the end of the game that 2 table legs, 1 chair back and a double hinge combo equals an Excellent.
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Donall of Hunter

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[Jul 10, 2007 7:45:26 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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If the cleared targets just stayed on the board as dead weight, they would probably be pretty annoying. If, however, they could be used to (partially) fill the remaining targets (and a bonus were awarded for "nailing" targets together) but NOT regular 4 or 6-clears, they would introduce a whole new concept of risk and reward. Do I fulfill my 3 targets separately with less chance for disaster, or do I try to make 2 targets, then use those two clumps to make the third for bonus points, at the risk of clogging up my board beyond recovery in the process?
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 10, 2007 8:08:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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That would definitely make for an interesting board! I suppose one of the things that would govern the ability to implement it would be the size of the board and number of targets offered at any given level...

A board too small simply wouldn't be able to accommodate it, and too many targets to complete would form far too much clog to work around..

Maybe completing a target brings up a special piece in the next round that, if used in the next target, will bring a bonus?
[Jul 10, 2007 10:53:27 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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I had a brainstorm. The reason Atomica eventually clogs the board is that every match you make only gives you a 1-turn reprieve. This is regardless of your chaining abilities. Now, what if chaining were to increase the number of turns you had with no new pieces appearing? For example, a 5-chain will give you 4 free turns after the 5th match is made. With those changes, successfully nailing together, say, 5 targets on a 16x16 board becomes a matter of setting up sufficiently large chains to buy you enough time to manipulate the target clumps.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 11, 2007 8:04:49 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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Hmm.. you may be on to something there, though I think a straight 1:1 might be a bit much..

Perhaps every three you clear buys you one more round w/out a piece? Though I think in a way that tends to dumb down the puzzle.

Really, I've played atomica, and it's perfectly possible to get a string of 5 or 6 or more w/out needing more than one free move to set it up. It's part of what makes it a challenge.

But if say every third after the fist clear buys you one more extra (i.e. 1, 4, 7, etc) that might be a bonus that does not overly simplify the game.
[Jul 11, 2007 9:49:18 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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We can play around with the numbers to see what feels right. I would like to point out, though, that Atomica compensates for the lack of extra free moves with its atom bomb, which effectively behaves as several extra free moves. Since that won't be in Kali (I'm guessing), it's quite all right to be generous with free moves.

Along those lines, I would like to see a bit more strategy involved in dealing with spawns. Perhaps mark spawns 3 turns before they actually arrive, with a countdown?
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[Jul 11, 2007 10:48:19 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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Actually I already have that feature in kali where having a chain of so many will get you a move to clear X number of pieces (not of your choosing) from the board, excepting any that are locked into targets.

I'm actually trying to *compensate* for a shorter game by making the moves harder.

Since Kali is not an indefinite play but play to a certain number of targets, already the player has an advantage over the atomica play style where the earliest levels are the easiest. To that end, I took away atomica's 'preview' of upcoming pieces.



conversely, if the board started out much more filled than in atomica, then it would make more sense to have what you're talking about - more free moves and/or longer warnings for spawn pieces.

I'm hoping for somewhere in the middle. It will necessarily have to fill up a little faster, but that's part of the challenge. It will also be over when the last target is cleared, so you don't have the same sense of impending doom counting down till you can't move anymore, instead of a solid goal to aim for.
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[Edit 1 times, last edit by al_Zahrah at Jul 12, 2007 9:02:35 AM]
[Jul 12, 2007 8:59:40 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
tanonev

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Actually, I wouldn't mind a partially filled board. I'd certainly prefer it to removing the preview. I personally prefer puzzles with more emphasis on manipulating what you see to those that force you to prepare for what you cannot see. The latter becomes too much a statistics game.
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Tanonev on all oceans; currently exploring Meridian.
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[Jul 12, 2007 8:11:15 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message    http://www.alpha-slash.com [Link]  Go to top 
actreal

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A partially filled board would also enable better tailoring of difficulty levels too.

You wouldn't need to rely upon having increasingly difficult targets to construct.
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Donall of Hunter

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[Jul 12, 2007 9:38:53 PM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
al_Zahrah

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Right. like sailing, the targets themselves never get any more difficult, only the number of them or the difficulty surrounding the game, rather than the specific targets.


And there is no particular reason *not* to have a preview of the next pieces coming up, but for increased difficulty, but if it can be achieved as effectively in other ways, then by all means the preview can remain in kali like it is in atomica.
[Jul 13, 2007 9:56:47 AM] Show Printable Version of Post        Send Private Message [Link]  Go to top 
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