Grabber Giver Fixer Feather Plucker

Plucky plucker, don't pluck, you suck, play ducky and sing a nice song or you get the sock. Tamagotchi plus towers of hanoi.


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Ratings (show detail)

Overall: 2.4
Fun: 1.9
Production: 2.3
Innovation: 3.0

0% of respondents wished to disqualify the entry.
Respondents: 31


File Uploader Date
saluk 2009/09/05 22:53
saluk 2009/09/04 04:56

Diary Entries

Feathers, the universe, and everything

If anyone is having trouble coming up with a theme, do a search for feathers in mythology. There are tons of myths etc that involve feathers that are ready to be plundered.

Or you can go a bit more literal, and make it a game about actual feathers. There are some nice ideas I can think of for that as well.

Our idea involves feathers and a pesky bird who owns the feathers - more detailed info yet to come. Here is an early concept art, by me, a self-proclaimed artist of no renown:

If it makes no sense to you, then I have done my job well.

I feel though that we have a very solid design. It requires only a small amount of balancing toward the beginning of the game, and since there is no way to win (it's "endless" mode - at some point you lose), bad balancing toward the middle and end of the game will not have a huge impact on first impressions.

And we all know first impressions are what matter here (not that I care too much about the scoring, but it's still what I aim for in these contests. (Or at least it's what I strive to aim for. I usually aim a bit too much toward the end of the game and making the game work as a whole than the first impression, which results in most people not really getting into the meat of my games, and basing the whole game on maybe lackluster presentation or confusing early sections))

The other thing that is nice about this idea, is it is tailored to really WORK as a game with a very small amount of content, yet it is not difficult to continually add content and polish content to make it better. With so little time, it will be great to get something playable, and even submittable, as soon as humanly possible. There wont be much time during the week for this, at any point I may have to just stop working, so it needs to be something that people can play and enjoy for a minute or two in the next few days. This also means that if, shock of shocks, there is time later, the game will be that much better for having been in playtesting for that much longer.

It's been interesting to see the progression of Century of the Fruitbat over the last 8 (eight?????) pyweek's. As far as what we have tried to accomplish, each pyweek we have tried to accomplish a little less. As for what we actually accomplish, it has felt like we have accomplished a bit more each time. Specialization I think is important.

In contests, as in life, it is better to be great in some small thing, then to be mediocre in many.

I don't know if I believe that, but it sounded good :P

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Is it a game yet?

We have stats and interaction. Just a little bit of work to make a big impact. Our game idea is really working for the timeframe so far.

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The slow middle of the week period

What our game is about: a game where you take care of your pet parrot and try to avoid him plucking out all of his feathers. It is like an evil version of nintendogs, as the parrot can inflict much damage to you if you are not careful, and as the game progresses he gets harder to take care of.

Well, we have entered the doldroms of the middle of pyweek.

It always seems to go this way:

Day one: wow, think of all of the great ideas we could do! So much to brainstorm! So much to design and plan! Make sure to keep the game idea simple enough that we can do it.
Day two: Holy shmoley! We are accomplishing so much! Waaaaay ahead of schedule! Best pyweek ever!
Day three: er, do you feel like working on pyweek? Me neither. Nothing gets done
Day four: hmm, still not feeling it. Well, we were ahead of schedule, so we are still OK. Might need to cut back on some things.
Day five: uhhhh, we have all of these tasks to do and only 2 more days? Why did we waste the last few days!
Day six and seven - suicide coding spree, followed by disappointment at everything that had to be cut
Day eight-day fifteen: sleep

By this schedule, as opposed to the schedule made up during planning, we are actually very much on schedule!

Anyway, here are some of the choice things which we worked on in the last few days. Hopefully today is a bit better. There may or may not be a new screenshot to show.

  • I reorganized the code so that we can just plop object classes into a folder, and they will be automatically imported into the game. Makes the turnaround for adding a new object very quick.
  • Galrin made the other floating hand, your wife who brings in items she buys from the store. To test, we have a hotkey we can press to have her bring a random item so we can get a bunch of stuff to play with really quick
  • We got the Parrot's stats working pretty well, with food helping his diet, and poison making him sick
  • We started the part of the game where you try to feed him, but have to worry about whether he will bite
All in all, a little light for 2 days of work. Not being able to do anything until 9pm really hurts!

Next on the agenda is to finalize the feeding section, work on the ai of the parrot a bit (as right now he is pretty static), and then enhance the puzzle elements of our simulation a little more. We really want to avoid the problem our "only way is up" entry had. Other than this game, it was our most experimental, and it felt more like just watching stuff happen than actually playing a game.

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Feed the birds...

Hooray!  The interface for feeding the bird has finally been built, and it's a riot. Imperfect art aside, it's pretty fun to try and give the bird his meal while at the same time not being pecked.  You don't know for sure if he will like what you are trying to feed him, and if he hates it, you are in for pain.

So far, this feeding interface is really the only game-like element of our game so far. I am a bit worried that we are this far along in the week and there is not really any gameplay to speak of. We brainstormed a lot of ways that there could be gameplay at the beginning of the week, but I'm not sure how well it can all be put together at this point.

A lot of it will hinge on where the food, toys, etc are coming from. Originally you had to go to the store and pick them up, but we felt like we couldn't handle more than one room with our limited time, so we have the wife bring them by instead. But what does she bring exactly, and when? If she brings the wrong things you could lose purely by chance.

Hopefully enough of the game will be implemented tomorrow that we can really work on balancing the sliders to make it somewhat playable.


Small comment response>>>

This game is a bit incomprehensible. What a great way to sum up the week! With so many ideas, and so much time wrapped up in other things, I don't think we every really comprehended the game at all ourselves, and we were the ones apparently making it.

About "order wife to get something" being offensive - yes, this is meant to be satire. This is why if you hit it too many times she brings you a divorce. Just as the parrot is meant to annoy, you realize that by passing allong the annoyance to the wife you are no better. I guess since everything is so incomplete this wasn't conveyed well at all.

But what it really is hiding is a missing component of gameplay. We had ideas about finding the right items to please the bird having a very strong puzzle component to it. For instance, an object might be buried under another object that must first be moved, but then that object is too heavy and some other solution would need to be found. Conceptually though, we had a lot of big ideas that seemed simple, but turned out to be faaaar to light on details in practice.

One comment said "The theme is feathers not birds" - another thing not communicated well I guess, but the whole point is that the bird keeps shedding his feathers, and you are trying to stop him from doing so. I don't see how this can not fit the theme.

One reviewer seemed to really enjoy it, so I'm glad we could entertain someone, even though things were so very broken! Going in I had planned to frontload things as much as possible, but I didn't follow through. Needed better time management. I always need better time management, but this time was worse than usual.

So thanks for playing the game, and I'm sorry to everyone who got frustrated not knowing which things were actually implemented and which weren't! If I had had time to make the instructions more clear I would have.

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