Woody - First Playable

Early this afternoon, I added the ability to twist the tubes. Then, I added crates (with lots of guidance on what a crate should look like from the IRC folks).

And now, if you drop enough balls of the right kind into each crate, it goes away. If you get rid of all crates, you win!

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Tried on OS X. Good stuff. Some comments:
  1. The tubes make it a little hard to see the balls
  2. The balls could be a little spread out - at the moment they come in waves
  3. Perhaps start off with less boxes/tubes?
Otherwise well done :)
I concur with richard. Worked great for me with Linux, opengl-ctypes. I'd add that it would be nice to have some visual indication for where you can click to twist the tubes. (The cursor snapping doesn't work well enough IMHO.) That, BTW, is my supreme pet peeve of website design: when clickable areas--hotlinks and buttons and so on--are not visually distinct from non-clickable area. Good luck.
Thanks for the feedback!

To Richard's comments:

  1. I might try making the tubes more open - the stripes are currently half and half, which I could tinker with. Another idea that I was thinking of was to color the tubes "downstream" from the marbles to match the color of the marbles, which would be pretty easy to see, I think.
  2. Yeah, making sure that the balls don't double up at the top would be easy enough - though through the player's actions, the balls could bunch up down the screen.
  3. Absolutely - I think the current settings would be an 8 or 9 on some difficulty scale. I think this game has some potential to be enjoyable by casual gamers, but not with 12 balls in motion at once.
To Aerojockey's more visual indication: hm, I might add in some metal bands at the places where you can twist. This would be some help, but the context-sensitive cursor will also be needed, because even when the cursor snaps to a location, it may be that a twist is not possible because of the existing nearby twists.


Worked fine on Windows XP SP2 (although the log in the dos window startled me upon shut-down.

One big request: Please, please make the green balls a lighter hue of green. I only learned that there are green and black balls and not only dark green balls when I looked at the dos window's log.

And a question: Is that a feature that the game shuts down when it loses focus? It happened to me once, haven't retried to make sure, but will do so if need be.

Except for being unable to tell the green and the black balls apart, no problems here. Twisting the tubes was no problem at all.


green balls a lighter hue of green - sure, that's a good idea. There's going to be more presentation, so the players will be introduced to the green and black balls at different times, but if it's hard to tell them apart on your monitor, knowing about a difference you can't see is little help.

Is that a feature that the game shuts down when it loses focus? - sort of, yeah. That's a hook for the pause menu that I haven't written yet.

Thanks for the feedback!

tsmaster: I suspect you're going to run into colour-blindness issues. The green is quite easily distinguishable to my eyes. Perhaps go with patterns instead?
Richard: hm, yeah - 8% of Caucasian men have red/green color blindness issues. I was thinking of using a marble texture on the balls to begin with, then discarded it as being too distracting as the balls move around. Perhaps I'll add in a pattern in addition to the colors.
Perhaps the best solution is to have it as an option but not a default?
Eugman: Hm, perhaps - I'll have to make sure to draw people's attention to the options panel.


Well, actually, I don't have any color-blindness issues I know of. There may be many reasons why I have a hard time telling them apart. With the spiral design, you only see very little of the balls within the tubes and I am not that good at spotting moving details to begin with (I am the slow type), so telling whether those 10 pixels that just moved by were dark green or black is kind of difficult.

Besides, on the boxes, you are using a really light hue of green, which may be a bit hard on the eye in the tubes, but which is a far cry from what the balls actually look like.

My comments are based on the first version of the game since I haven't tested the new one. Making the front of the tubes transparent should help a lot.

Otherwise, I would suggest putting a small skull on the black balls. Certainly would add a bit of flavor and make players get the hint :) :)

Deathworks: I expect your green/black issue was due to a dark green ball, perhaps combined with a display situation on your side (darker monitor, room lighting conditions) as opposed to color blindness. I want to make sure that both your case and the color-blind are capable of playing the game, though.

In your case, I've made the ball a brighter green, which (I hope) should contrast well with the black. In addition, as you mention, the tubes are now partially transparent, which gives you more opportunity to see the balls.

For the fraction of the public that have a hard time telling red and green apart (and, given the size of PyWeek, odds are that we have some), I'm going to add in stripes and dots and marbling.

a small skull on the black balls

Heh, that's an option, but I'd rather not have to use that sort of imagery - it may not matter much for PyWeek, but if/when I prepare this for a wider audience, the typical player who might enjoy this game probably would be more comfortable if I avoided a skull, even as a symbol.


Yes, my monitor seems a bit gloomy, even compared to those at the university. When I uploaded the screenshot of my titlepage, I was also surprised at how light the green used in the undefined background was (I thought it was very dark, nearly, but not completely, black).

Anyhow, I am a bit surprised that you think the general public will be reluctant about skull symbols. Aren't they used in video games regularly to mark negative items (like Mario games and Jump'n Runs)? I am not trying to force something on you, I am simply expressing my surprise because I always had a slightly different expression than what you described.

Deathworks: I am a bit surprised that you think the general public will be reluctant about skull symbols.

I think the Bejeweled crowd would be more comfortable with a white X on the black ball, rather than a skull.

Heh, now that I think about it, the Bejeweled crowd are mostly women, and they're even less prone to color blindness. Still, it's not 0%, so I want to find something that will work.

My current plan is to use marble, stripes, dots, solids, and an X texture to help differentiate the balls. A friend hooked me up with a web tool you can point at your website to see how your web page looks to people with various kinds of colorblindness - it was a lot worse than I had anticipated, but with that tool, I think I can create combinations that should be distinguishable.


I just had another thought.

How about making it a 'screw ball', that is, paint a small black '8' within a white circle on it (a bit tough at that resolution)? Billard people should know, as well as those remembering Tom and Jerry cartoons :) :) :)

'X' would actually be fine for Japanese players :) :)

Hey tsmaster: could you give me a link to that page that shows what your page looks like to a colorblind person?
Deathworks: Yeah, I like the language-neutrality of "X".

RB[0]: check out this page: http://colorfilter.wickline.org/

Oh thanks :)

ok, so I'm technically color-blind, but only very slightly, because I have no problem with seeing your balls, even though I failed quite a few of the tests I found, and aced all the ones that said "if you see this you are colorblind" :/

I guess that means a; I'm not colorblind, and simply have trouble with the tests, or b: your game shouldn't be too much of a problem, unless it is someone who is really used to that sort of thing ;)
RB[0]: Huh, that's interesting - I'll probably still put in the patterns, anyway. From the little I've researched, there's a wide range of color perception, so someone out there would have trouble. Are they likely to play my game? Probably not. Nevertheless...

Thanks for the input!


I have tried your version from the second day (privately offline, so it's download - carry home - try for me), and my first impression was:

OMG! There are green and black balls!!!!

Thanks, things are much clearer now.

About the 'X', it seems that you are not aware of it, but in Japanese culture, 'X' basically means 'No Good'. If you fill out forms, you never put in 'x' but always circle them and if you want to show someone that something won't do, you can simply cross your arms in front of you. Some firm should have looked at such things before bringing out what was then called "Batsu Box" ('X' is often referred to as "batsu" roughly meaning "punishment") - but then again, they deserved it :) :) :)