Feedback request for new game Peepers

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by SmartMelon, Jul 27, 2004.

  1. SmartMelon

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    Couldn't resist being the first feedback request in the new forums :).

    My name is Graeme Sweet and I'm setting up a company called SmartMelon Games. We're getting close to finishing our first game called Peepers. This is a relaxing puzzle game based around saving Spring Peeper frogs from their ponds, and can be downloaded from here:

    http://www.smartmelon.com/download/PeepersTrialInstaller096.exe

    If you would like to see some screenshots of the game, check these out:

    http://www.smartmelon.com/screenshots/PeepTitleScreen.JPG
    http://www.smartmelon.com/screenshots/PeepSelectScreen.JPG
    http://www.smartmelon.com/screenshots/PeepGameScreen.JPG

    This is a pretty casual game. I noticed at Christmas time that my whole family got into playing the Rushhour board game, so I tried to develop something with simple rules but still had enough complexity to challenge you. My father and sister have been playing the game and like it, so I guess that's a good sign. If you're wondering, the Spring Peeper frog is a small frog that makes a sound similar to a cricket in eastern North America in the springtime.

    Any feedback you can give would be much appreciated. We've debated for a while whether the demo has too many levels. Some of the graphics still have some touch-up work to be done before they are ready to be released. Thanks in advance for taking a look at this. Cheers!

    Graeme Sweet
     
  2. Redclaw

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    Good:
    -I like the concept, it's nice and simple.

    -I really like the setting and the gfx/music. It really gives the game a mellow feeling. I didn't feel at all rushed when I played it.

    -Being able to change individual items in the options menu was a great idea.


    Not so good:
    -TURN THE PEEPERS DOWN!! :) Because of their high pitched repetitive nature, I think the default volume is way too loud. Yes, you can turn it down in the menu, but don't assume people will do that.

    -The light coloured text on the menu screens is very difficult to read! Cream coloured text on a beige background. Not the best choice. :)

    -When playing with the mouse, I wanted to click on the lilly leaf at the end of a row and have the frog go there. Having to click on each individual leaf was annoying. Also when I clicked somewhere I couldn't go, it increased my move counter. This felt unfair, like I was being penalised for learning the game.

    -When playing with keys, I'd like the frog to jump a little faster than it does. The delay feels sluggish between jumps when you hold the key down. Perhaps this could be added to the options menu?

    -A game like this cries out for unlimited undo/redo moves. It's quite annoying to be half way through a level, make one little mistake, and have to start all over again. And perhaps also an auto save would be good so you can leave mid level, and continue at a later time.

    -When there are multiple frogs on a level, you have to switch between them by pressing Tab. Why limit it to just that key? If I hadn't read the instructions, I would have instinctively tried Return, shift, and spacebar. When that didn't work I might have given up playing out of confusion. So I'd suggest any of those keys should switch frogs.

    -For the demo, these levels might be a bit too difficult. Although the concept is easy to pick up, getting the hang of the game still takes some time, and I think these levels might be a bit unforgiving.

    -What is the minimum number of moves that each level can be won in. For example I did level 9 in 24 moves, but I have no idea if that is a good score or not. By showing the minimum number of moves that a level can be won in, you increase the replayability of the game because it gives people a reason to try a level again to see if they can perfect it. I did notice a star next to level 8 (which I did in 13 moves). Does that signify I did it in the lowest possible number? If so, I would suggest adding that to the instructions.

    -Possible bug: a couple of times when I would push 2 or more lilly leaves, the frog would continue jumping to the end of the line even though I had released the key. I tried to recreate the effect the last time it happened and couldn't, so it seems to happen randomly.


    Overall I think this game shows quite a lot of potential. It has a nice theme, good production values, and pleasing gameplay (beating a tough level does feel satisfying). I think it just needs a little tweaking to make it a bit more user friendly.
     
    #2 Redclaw, Jul 27, 2004
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2004
  3. Redclaw

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    Heh, I just realised my "not so good" points outnumbered the good ones 3 to 1. That doesn't represent a negative opinion of the game (indeed, I quite like it), I just thought listing the bad would be more helpfull.
     
  4. GameStudioD

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    I am impressed with this game. It is put together very well. The graphics look very well done, also.

    I think the demo is just right. Ten levels is a good amount to get to know the gameplay, different strategies and handling multiple frogs. Those 10 levels do a good job of preparing you for the next harder level. I like the fact that the demo is not limited by a time period. You can play as much as you want and at your own pace. I like that it constantly reminds you about purchasing a full version.

    The only points for improvment I can see are:

    * The white text on the cream colored background is difficult to read.
    * When using the keyboard and switching betweem frogs, there is a faint light of the selected frog. That should be bigger, or more obvious. Maybe mouse selection to better see what lilly you are over.
    * The screetching noise in the background is very annoying! I saw that there was an option to lower the volume (I just shut them off completely). It is a lot better game without all that noise.

    Good luck!
     
  5. robleong

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    I liked the game and completed level 10 - it's certainly addictive and the colors were lovely. Yes, I agree that the lettering is not very clear. The frog is also almost camouflaged on the leaf, but I guess that's why these frogs are green! I didn't like the fact that when you complete a level after using undo, you'll have to do the level again. Overall, great game, great concept!
     
  6. SmartMelon

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    I'd like to thank Redclaw, GameStudioD, and Robert Leong for your great feedback! Your comments are much appreciated and you have some really good points.

    We choose the sound levels based on our speaker setup, but I'm guessing your speakers have a different frequency response than ours. We'll definitely turn the peepers down and try them on a bunch of different systems.

    We've been fighting with that text for a while trying to get something we're happy with - I guess we'll keep trying :).

    If none of the lily pads slide when the frog hops, this is a great idea. If they do slide, then it might get a little confusing. We'll have to think about this some more. If the hop counter increased when you didn't hop, that's a bug and we'll get it fixed.

    We might speed up the hopping a little bit. We've thought about adding a slider too, add might put this in before the game is released.

    Our idea was to provide a limited undo so that people just couldn't try all combinations in a level without thinking about it. I think you're right that we have to rethink this though as some levels can be frustrating. We might still provide a limited undo, put provide a whole lot more undos per level.

    This is really a great idea. Originally, Space was going to do another function but it got removed from the game. We'll definitely add in some other keys for switching frogs.

    Yes, we're worried about the difficulty of the demo. I think we've fallen into the classic trap where if you play the game long enough it gets easy. We're probably going to remove a few levels from the trial (maybe down to 7 or 8) and make them a little easier.

    You do get a star if you finish a level in the minimum number of moves. I guess this is not explained well enough (it's in the readme file but few people read that). We'll look at making some changes to it to make it more obvious.

    We'll take a look at this and try to replicate it.

    Thanks for your comments! Yes, we're going to work at making the text more readable. We can make the highlight on the selected frog bigger - that's a great point. Since the peeper sound is quite high-pitched I think it makes a big difference what sound system you're using. We're going to try some other systems and reduce the volume a lot.

    Great job! Level 10 is tricky and probably too tricky to keep in the actual demo. We'll going to look at the fonts and make them more readable. We made them finish a level without using undo so that you have to be really good at a level before we mark it as completed. The idea is to use the undo to learn how to complete a level, and then have to go through and finish the level on their own. Not sure if this is good or bad, but it means that people can't breeze through a bunch of levels. Thanks for your comments!

    Once again, thanks everyone for taking a look at our game! :D Have a great day!

    Graeme
     
  7. Kaos

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    i think the demo was nice.

    I liked the artwork as well especially the lady slipper orchids as well as the cat tails. Reminds me of a nice Minnesota pond that I used to go fishing on as a child.

    The game is very clever, it should do very well.
     
  8. ZeHa

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