March 2019 challenge: “6”
Breakout Blue - Wrap-up
Posted by mit-mit on 2019/04/18 21:03
I think if we had had a bit more time we could have refined the levels a bit more: our goal was to start with two players and then introduce an extra player each level until we got to six and then have a couple of levels with six players, but I think we just ran out of time. We did manage to make a nice level editor with a GUI this competition which was great: it's in the source code if anyone is interested in trying to make their own!
Thanks again to Mauve for running the ship; the new website is really looking great and I love all the new features like the rating dashboard! See you all next comp!
B Ball Tomb - conclusion
Posted by speedlimit35 on 2019/04/15 01:45
See you all next pyweek!
Resolute - Resolute: Postmortem
Posted by Tee on 2019/04/14 17:49
Difficulty and confusion
There were issues with confusion, and I completely understand that. I struggled with designing the learning curve because it's not easy to explain the rules, and I still don't know what's the best way to do that. It takes a while to get a hang of it, even with just two types of block. Also, I still don't know what's the best interface for the game. I ended up using colored borders to indicate how blocks would unmerge, but it would have been nice to add a way for the player to know what a block will transform to (i.e. make the rules visual instead of having the player memorize them).
I find it interesting that a relatively high number of people were confused and solved levels by moving around randomly. I guess that's hard to avoid with a board this small. On that note, the game seems to be too difficult for those who didn't have a full understanding of the merging rules (understandably), but it was challenging but doable for those who got the hang of it. I'm glad the game was challenging but doable, because that's usually my goal. :) But I think the game would have benefited from a better ramp up. I did consider this carefully and I think I did what I could in the time I had, but it definitely could use improvement. Maybe I should have flashed text every time the player tried an invalid action. I don't plan to keep working on this but I'm curious from a game design standpoint what others would do to improve on this.
Mechanics and level design
There are Pyweeks in which I have an idea I like from the beginning, and there are those in which I go through many iterations of different ideas (whether I fail or succeed). "6" is a difficult theme to work with, so this one was the latter. After several scrapped ideas, I had this idea on Thursday, spent that night iterating through the mechanics on paper, started implementing the framework Friday night, and I didn't actually try designing levels before the last day. I was concerned because it was possible that the puzzle mechanics were just bad, but I'm glad something worked out.
Level design was challenging; it was mostly done backwards from the goal with a lot of trial and error. It's difficult because the levels have to be kind of tight, as the merged board is very small. For example, at some point I thought I had a challenging last level, but it turned out there was a trivial solution to it I missed; I ended up redoing the last level at the very end.
Without adding new features or more resolution levels, I suspect there's not a lot more room for variety in level design. The issue is that 3x2 and even 6x4 is too small to do anything too deep (although it was fun working with tight constraints). But maybe adding new mechanics could help. One idea I had but didn't have time to implement were boxes that would destroy an underlying box if attempted to merge down together (if that makes any sense).
I did originally plan to have a third level of resolution. I started implementing the game in a way that would allow it. However, at some point I was running out of time, and I started assuming two levels to code more quickly. In particular, I don't know how I would do the colored borders for more than two levels. Maybe that's for the best though. If two levels are already confusing, I imagine that three levels would be too difficult.
Sorry about the escape key leaving the game; I should be more careful with that next time. I added the instructions in the last hour before submitting, so I didn't consider someone might press escape to exit the instructions. :)
Congratulations to Cosmologicon and hexima for first places! Thanks mauve for organizing this! Great improvements to the website; I really like the ratings dashboard. See you all next time.
6-Crates - Time to improve and Truly finish the game.
Posted by Phantasma on 2019/04/14 11:59
My twitch link: https://www.twitch.tv/xxphantasmaxx I'll start streaming at around 2:00 pm EST(6 hours after this post)
By the way this will be the 1st time I'll be streaming as well. So I'm not expecting much....yet. However given the ratings I had for my game I think I'll have a solid game in the making...it just needs more polish and flare to finish the job. Don't worry about the difficulty I plan on adding 60 more levels to stretch out the difficulty curve and a save feature to keep track of progress.
Thank you so much for the feedback and for playing my game in this current state. More to come in the following weeks/months.
Snowcrafter - Thanks for playing!
Posted by Cosmologicon on 2019/04/14 05:42
Thank you to everyone who tried the game! Sorry if it didn't work for you. I had one pygame issue and one Python 2/3 urllib compatibility issue. I'll make a note of them for next time.
This is my first solo game with any sort of user-submitted content. I was hesitant at first, but I realized soon that I had to, because the gameplay isn't nearly as interesting as looking at the finished result. In the end the gallery really makes the game IMHO. My major concern was security. I didn't trust myself to write a foolproof check against faulty uploads, so I decided that I would be manually approving designs before sending them to players. This turned out okay, but I should have made it so that you can at least see your own designs in the gallery before they're approved.
I expected quite a low amount of content submitted and that's what I got. There are currently 40 designs in the gallery, 19 of which were made by me for the starting version. The other 21 were created by about 4 people, the earliest of which was six days into judging. Anyone who played up to that point only saw the designs I made. I tried to make it as easy to share as possible, but I didn't want to require it.
The main mechanic - placing shapes to enclose dots distributed throughout the snowflake - presented a design challenge. I like it except that it's too hard. Easy mode - which places the dots in the area you control - was a very late addition to the game, like in the last 4 hours. I came very close to making it the default but decided against it. It's a little too easy, but that's not the problem. The problem is that it lets you ignore that you're designing a snowflake altogether. I wanted players to think about the symmetry as they go along. When I play tested on easy mode, I felt much less of a connection between my actions and the finished design. I always prefer the theme to relate to the core mechanic rather than anything superficial, and that's what decided me in the end. Some way to make it easier without sacrificing this connection would be ideal. (Shout-out to Tee whose feedback nailed this issue exactly.)
Thanks to mauve for running things again! You've really done a great job with the competition! I especially liked the ratings dashboard. Thank you for that!
Whiffle Six - Whiffle Six post-mortem
Posted by assertivist on 2019/04/14 04:05
Our first idea was a kind of top-down adventure/arcade where you play as a group of six dragons. We planned out six different biome types scattered around a large map requiring you to switch between the dragons strategically--definitely something like what Breakout Blue came up with but simpler. I got pretty far with that idea before we pivoted because there was just not enough time to fill out this idea.
My teammate said "Let's just make scrolling breakout," and away I went. Originally we were trying to go right to left scrolling, but I was having trouble thinking how I would make that work without the ball always just kind of falling behind to the left... So I went with a top-to-bottom bullet hell type of idea. There was a lot more I wanted to get added before the week ended, including power-ups, including one giving you a weapon, some flying/shooting enemies, I wanted to go for Arkanoid vs Juno First, a somewhat uncommon arcade game that I immensely enjoy. But I spent too much time twiddling with physics and collision detection, as is typical for pyweeks past for me, and I ended up with what you saw.
Its funny that some people found it too easy--the difficulty is supposed to increase the longer you play, but I ran out of time to get it scaled well. When I first implemented the scaling it got really hard really fast, I probably should have just left it like that :)
Fighter6 - Conclusion
Posted by AlpacaMax on 2019/04/14 01:39
What The Frog?! - Level select screen bug
Posted by mauve on 2019/04/05 07:40
I discovered an layout bug in the Level Select screen in What The Frog?!. asrp had mentioned it on IRC but I forgot all about it while attempting to fix the showstopper "brown screen" driver bug.
It is related to pixel scaling, which scales the game down to smaller screens, so you'll encounter this if your display is less than 1250 pixels high (or if you specify --pixel-scale manually on the command line).
Breakout Blue - Bug Fix and Playthrough
Posted by mit-mit on 2019/04/04 02:23
If you would like to update, please follow these simple steps:
- Download the new level file "level3.json" here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hPbSW9TvvLDpWG4vTuH4N7dN0as-QYE3/view?usp=sharing
- Copy this file into your distribution of "Breakout Blue" to Breakout_Blue_pyweek27/data/level/. It should overwrite the existing level file.
- Play the game as per normal: level 3 is now beatable!
Many apologies if you have already played the game and got stuck on level 3! We should have picked this up on debug-Sunday, but alas :) ...
Also, we have uploaded a playthrough of the game if interested (included bug fixed level):
Sixth Gear - Done!
Posted by LeopardShark on 2019/04/02 17:53