Mr. Wobbly's Postmortem

Wow, I really didn't expect that this small game would get so nice feedback. Otherwise I would have spend the last day doing more testing and polishing. I apologise to everyone who had to play with coloured rectangles instead of coloured pipes. I could have avoided that bug very easily if I had actually tested the game with older Pygame versions. Lesson learned, I suppose. ^^

I guess it was a little premature to announce that we would not participate but the first day was quite bad. Both of us were exhausted (carrying furniture upstairs to the 5th floor gets tiring after a couple of days), neither of us had a good idea and Zahme realized that the new MSPaint for Win7 has lots of pixel-art-killing features. Like automated antialiasing for lines. And he kept saying that drawing wibbly-wobbly animations was just too hard for him.

So I figured: Before we spend the rest of our vacation in agony, thinking of game ideas and rejecting them right away because of their complexity... meh.. just say that we won't participate and then try to relax a little. It helped a lot.

We settled on an idea on day 2. The map editor was done in a few days and the basic game mechanic was surprisingly easy to implement. The tileset graphics were done really quickly and Mr. Wobbly wasn't as hard to draw as Zahme expected. All in all this was propably the least stressful Pyweek of zahmeKatzen. The game idea wasn't exactly ambitious but it worked.

So what's left to do? Unless we can think of other puzzle elements that would fit into the game (or unless someone else has an idea?) basic gameplay won't change. One comment suggested to do an overview map to give the player some sense of progression - I'd definitely want to add that. Something like a sewer system map where you move from point A to B after you finished a level. Maybe add a branch or two for alternative endings... Oh, and bug-fixing needs to be done, too. As always.

I don't think those small changes are worth a Pyggy entry, so we'll probably try to finish some of our older Pyweek games.

Anyway, a big thank you! to everyone. Thank you for the nice comments and thank you for the criticism. And last but not least thanks to Richard for hosting Pyweek. This is our only opportunity to actually finish a game once in a while. :P

Until next time,

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I totally have ideas for it!
  1. Bigger, brighter, more cartoony graphics (Just cos I love that style in simple games)
  2. Steal Blob-job's mechanic of flipping onto the surface above
  3. Similarly, maybe you could ooze through tiny holes in the floor or move onto the side of platforms
  4. Add more level elements to help you build puzzles - eg. conveyor belts, one-way valves, lifts
  5. There could be a way of changing the blob colour, and certain switches/pipes only operate if you are the correct colour.
  6. Blob splitting - your blob has to split up to complete a puzzle, at which point you can tab between them
  7. Some pipe sections that you cannot see through. This would work well if you had multiple layers of pipe and you had to trace through the network to work out where you might come out.
  8. Timed valves
  9. Instead of exploding if you enter a closed pipe, it would be fairer if you just bounced back out
  10. Instead of getting to the "goal", why not have a pipe that runs off screen and straight to the next level, so the levels appear connected
Amazing ideas! I would be very interested in teaming up and doing these for Pyggy!
I'd love to see this game taken further!

Oh, and you're quite welcome :-)
Ok, I'll contribute graphics for this for the Pyggys if anyone wants to pick it up and make a game of it.
... not that it isn't already a game. You know what I meant.

Don't worry, I know what you meant.. ^^

It's not like we didn't have any real ideas to expand the game mechanics, but all of them didn't seem to make much sense/enrich the playing experience.

Flipping onto the surface above, oozing through tiny holes, etc. would work well in an action-packed plattformer, but I can't imagine how to use that in a puzzle game. Why would the Blob walk on the ceiling? Probably because there's a button, or something else to use. But why would you place a button on the ceiling?! O.o

Lifts are essentially vertical pipes (but you need to walk off the lift on your own). Conveyor belts would be like horizontal one-way valves. They'd add a little more difficulty (because you can get really stuck) and some graphical variety.

Blob colors - that would require some clever way of switching colors. There could be colored puddles on the ground that colorize him, I suppose. Or color dripping from the ceiling for some reason. Better yet, color puddles that are there because there is color dripping from the ceiling.

Blob splitting could be very interesting. However, I would require the blobs to reunite before exiting the level (otherwise the sewers will be full of stranded, angry blobs). That would make puzzle creation and solving more challenging. I'm not sure if the blob should be allowed to split whenever he wants or if he can only split while standing on... on some kind of special splitting tile.

Pipe sections that you cannot see through - now, we had that with the coloured rectangles bug and I doubt that this was any real fun. ;)

Bouncing back instead of exploding shouldn't be hard to implement. We just liked the squish-animation.

Your last idea is great. The connections could also be shown on the world map and give a nice overview of the pipe system.

Bigger, brighter, more cartoony graphics - I really like your art and you'd definitely make something good-looking, I'm sure of that. But you'll have to replace all of the game graphics (including start menu, etc.) because Zahme's pixel art won't work well with your more hand-drawn style. Just making sure you know what you're getting into. ;)

Bigger graphics (esp. the tileset graphics) also require some changes to level-drawing code and the editor. Shouldn't be too bad.

But: The main problem is that I just don't feel like working on it right now. If someone would like to pick up the game, add those features and/or do a complete graphical makeover then of course, go ahead. But the other problem is that the code is not exactly well-written and hardly documented, so adding new features may be quite a PITA. Although I'd glady answer any questions about the code or help out a little. You could also use the original game for testing your new graphics while rewriting the game from scratch. Basic gameplay shouldn't take more than a week of programming. :P

But why would you place a button on the ceiling?

Why would you place buttons in awkward places that can only be reached by oozing through sewer pipes? :-)
Good point. ^^