May's theme: Android!
A fast-paced colour-based lady-chased puzzle-shooter.
Ciúnas Bóthar Cailin Bainne!
BronyBlocks is now in full working order!
It has been broken a long time. It worked fine for me, but somewhere in the uploading process, something went wrong. With far too much hoking and poking, I got it to upload properly (thanks to @Kevin!) but it was still broken. Minim, the library Processing uses for sound, was playing games with us. So, to save another week of fiddling, I've removed sound from the game. It now works fine for everybody! Now you can enjoy the wondrousness of BronyBlocks; more colourful than a Skittle factory, and more fun than working in one.
G'luck with all of your brony-blocking adventures!
That comment-system is a good idea. And it wouldn't be too hard to implement...
And you do make a good point about webgames. But I'd like to think that this site is for a more intellectual bunch :3
My problem with that approach is that someone who has already played the game has to suffer 5 levels without all of the fun features before they can actually have fun.
My models for the game were Tetris and Breakout. Neither of them had tutorials. Neither even had the Info screen that BronyBlocks was. And I think that Tetris was arguably more complicated :D
This does require further thought. But I have to go now. I'll get back to you on it.
Fair enough, and I like the complicated scoring mechanism- the player doesn't have to know exactly what's going on, but it would be good to know why things are happening, like when you can't destroy a block (because it's too different from your color?). Maybe an idea to kill two birds with one stone would be to add juicy effects that explain things- words saying "Color too Different!" (or something more fun) that fly off and fade away when you shoot a block that you can't destroy? Something like that?
The challenge is that with games like this (any browser game, really), people are going to give it about 30 seconds to hook them before they move on. So even if they'd love the game if they just took 10 minutes to play it and figure it out, 95% of people are going to quit before they give themselves the chance - I'm not even talking about this game specifically, but any game. So it's important to introduce the player to the things they need to know in a way that isn't overwhelming or boring - that's not an easy thing to achieve, so games that do it are extra awesome.
Maybe having level 1 be shapes of mostly your color, then level 2 throwing in a few that are different, level 3 adding a color-changing square, level 4 a bomb, etc? Introduce things one at a time, then start combinging them as the levels go on? One of the best ways I've seen to test this stuff out is to give your game to a non-gamer. Can they get the gist of it? If not, time to make the learning curve a little easier. Especially because developers know exactly how to play their games, so things that seem obvious to them are completely unknown to new players. That's one of the reasons many indie games are so difficult!
Anyway, I hope I don't come off as critical, I actually really like the game and I'm excited to see where it goes! After I finish the notification system I'm going to investigate Android deployment using Processing, and this game would make a great Android game!
Yeah. I just looked at what I had one day, and thought "why weren't blocks that changed colour in this already?". They were super easy to implement, and after 5 minutes, they were in. The colour-changing blocks are suprisingly hard to find, if you donn't know where they are... Just look at a level before you hit anything. The chances are, there are 2-3 colour-changing blocks in there. Bet you won't notice them until you're about to hit them.
Tutorial level... *le sigh*. I considered adding simple levels to teach the game mechanics. I started adding these levels. But, these levels were not only incredibly boring to make, but really didn't add much to the final product. And, it really didn't help that they were as buggy as hell.
I think the best way to learn any game is just to play it. For the first few levels, you have no shortage of time to experiment; "what happens if I hit this block? Why is that block a triangle? Why won't my blue bullet break this yellow square?". I might change the level generation so that some of the more complex features, such as triangles or rainbow-blocks, don't appear until later levels. That might help some of the confusion. But, I don't think I'll be rushing to add tutorials any time soon...
The score is calculated in a very complex way that doesn't necessarily need to be known to the player, but here's the gist of it.
Every X frames, the player's level is subtracted from their score. If you are on level 1, the score is decremented by 1. If you are on level 11, 11 is taken away from the score. This means that (in theory) later levels are harder.
Meanwhile, every time you shoot, your level is subtracted from your score also. So, you are punished for just holding down the shoot key, especially in later levels.
The points gained from blocks is where things get really complex. I think it isn't working perfectly, but it seems to be OK. The first thing to understand is that you get a higher score depending on how close your colour is to that of the block you're shooting. Also, the blocks higher up on the level, in the back row, are worth less than those at the front. I can't remember why I made it that way; it seemed like a good idea at the time :D
So, the points gained are calculated by something along the lines of ((colourDifference*distanceFromTop)+level). I'm sure my *s and +s are mixed up, by you get a kind of idea about how it works. I think there's another variable that affects it that I've forgotten... It's all in the source if you want to have a look.
That calculation is only done for colour-blocks and colour-changing blocks. You don't get any points for blocks blown up by a bomb. Rainbow blocks give you a flat score of 250 or something, while bombs themselves give you something in the region of 100.
You lose if your score hits 0 btw.
As for juicing, I'm pretty sure it was me that linked you to that video in the first place :3 That's what I was going for with the outrageous use of particles, but I'm thinking of branching out from plain old circles (perhaps rounded squares would suit better?). The sounds I used were definately along those lines too. In fact, I'm pretty sure the 'YAAAAY' sound played when you won a level was the exact same sound as the people in that video use whenever the player shoots. I'm thinking of ways to add more 'juice' though. Perhaps the blocks could wobble a bit. And I know that there needs to be something more when a block is destroyed...
I'm also open to any ideas for new block types you might have. If it isn't too hard to implement them, I might give it a go. But thanks for the comment, it's always helpful to hear from a third party! I'll brainstorm for ways to make it a bit more clear what's going on. And, I'll think about ways to 'juice' it a bit more. Also, I might improve the screenshake a bit. I'd love to make the background more interesting, but the way the blocks are drawn would look horrible on anything other than a black background...
Thanks for your comment anyway! I'll give it a bit of thought; after all, the customer is always right!
Great start. I love the color fading effect. The first time I noticed it I was like "Hole. Lee. Crap. This is awesome." And I really like the idea of the colors fading to affect the gameplay.
I have a few suggestions, do with them what you will!
Maybe think about adding a tutorial level. Even after reading the text (which, sadly, most users won't do), I wasn't totally sure exactly what was going on, why I couldn't shoot some blocks, how the score was calculated, etc. Just a basic level explaining what's good, what's bad, and how to win or lose would go a long way to keeping players interested.
And probably most importantly, juice it!!! This is exactly the type of game that would be made exponentially better by adding animations, sound (yeah I know), and more effects. Don't be afraid to take the awesome stuff you have here and turn it up to eleven. Here's a great video describing exactly what I mean: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy0aCDmgnxg
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