What's wrong with my game?

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What's wrong with my game?

Postby mrjohs » Wed Oct 20, 2010 8:51 am

Hi! I've developed a game, Planet Puzzle, for Android. It is a falling blocks, tetris-like game, where the objetive is to make rectangles (as opposed to lines in tetris). I have set up anonymous reporting of game statistics to a server.

Unfortunately, it looks as if most people trying it either fails to learn how to play it, or just play a couple of times without achieiving significant scores. This has led me to the conclusion that either:

* The rules of the game are not taught sufficiently well (it is not obvious how to play).
* The level of difficulty is in fact too high.
* The game totally sucks.

Please share your thoughts with me on this! The only comment I've got on the market is "Not good - impossible to play", which is not much to go on. What needs to be done? How can it be tweaked so that users manage to play and have fun?

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Re: What's wrong with my game?

Postby jgittins » Wed Oct 20, 2010 9:47 am

I liked the concept and I found it quite easy to play (maybe too easy). Without any real challenge I got bored on level 2.

I think in order to make the game addictive you should add more positive reinforcement. If you look at the hugely popular puzzle games made by popcap they really go crazy with music and fireworks when the player completes a level and it makes the player feel good about what they've just done so they keep playing.

Make it more exciting when completing a rectangle, at the moment they just fade away and the green bar fills up a little bit. You could have the completed rectangle fall apart so the component blocks fall down and bounce off other blocks before leaving the bottom of the screen, a cool effect like that would keep people playing because they want to see it again.

You should make the points gained by completing a rectangle more obvious as well. Maybe have the points you just won appear in large font in the middle of the screen.

It might also be fun to have a combo system so if you complete a rectangle on the next move after completing a previous rectangle your points are doubled and then trippled and so on.
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Re: What's wrong with my game?

Postby blundell » Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:16 pm

@jgittins - spot on
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Re: What's wrong with my game?

Postby seed » Thu Oct 21, 2010 8:23 pm

Make a swipe a swipe. When I swipe left to right, I want the spaceship to move with me, not just one little block of movement. Five swipes to move five spaces sucks - sorry. Also, the up swipe is not obvious. Not sure how you can handle this but consider rotating as you swipe up rather than after and allow multiple rotations in a single swipe. Maybe smoothly rotate during the swipe and then snap to the final orientation on the ACTION_UP.

Make a shape a shape. Why the little itty bitty rectangles. Make the rectangles full sized so that they fill up the shape of the piece you are dropping. Since vertical columns fall different distances, maybe make all the blocks in one column the same color but different than neighboring columns. Definitely make the rectangles full sized though.

Give it color. Colors are drab. Add primary colors. Pastels are way out.

Make movement movement. There is lots of stepwise movement in the game that is confusing especially since the rectangles are so small. Try little animated block slides to new locations when the blocks are moving up rather than the current chunky upwards moves.

Your start screen gives people a bad impression. They are playing a game. Give em a game start screen - not a form. Android forms are easy but not fitting for games, IMHO.

Sound as feedback is important. What jgiggles said.

It is a cool little idea for a game. I think you just need to tweak it out. Good luck.

Don't take any of this the wrong way. I am no expert. My games aren't super popular either.
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