Feedback request: QuesTrix v.1.0 ALPHA

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Rubs, Feb 26, 2006.

  1. Rubs

    Rubs
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    Here it comes! Ex-Role-Playing Bricks :)

    QuesTrix Version 1.0 ALPHA

    Changes done since initial (pre-alpha) release:

    - Product name changed from "Role-Playing Bricks" to "QuesTrix"
    - Added "How to play?" screens - internal tutorial/help
    - Removed ugly gradients from game screen background
    - Added "naah" sound when trying to use anavailable skill
    - Added game music fade-out during playing ovation sound when reached a hiscore
    - Changed experience calculation scheme and experience bonus
    - Made score bonus x2.5 times smaller
    - Changed bombing skill scheme
    - Fixed a few minor bugs
    - Added a number of minor improvements
    - Added installer (via InnoSetup wizard with some manual scripting)
    - Added mouse support (after Shazbot's propozal)

    (Known) things left to do for the beta:
    - Add animation effects (explosions, etc.) for bombs, drills and fills.
    - Create demo version
    - Improve installer
    - Compile decent EULA
    - Compile a help file in HTML

    Some screenshots:
    Title screen
    Menu screen
    Game screen
    Help screen (a page with skills' descriptions)
    Hiscore screen

    Link:
    Installer (5 mb)

    It seems I fixed all the small defects people told me to fix since the last "release" :). Except explosion animations. They're not done yet.

    I would be extremely thankful to any feedback on the game! Thanks for your time and for your help! Also, I will certainly give free copies of the game to people who provide quality feedback.

    Attack! :D
     
    #1 Rubs, Feb 26, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  2. Shaz

    Shaz
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    I looked at the other threads related to your game and while I found lots of suggestions for the name, I didn't see a download link for a beta version, or comments from those who have already tried it out. If it's there, I'm sorry I missed it first time around - some of the things I'm commenting on are pretty basic and probably should have been brought up way before now. If you HAVEN'T had any feedback so far on game play, know that I'm not a game developer (yet), but I AM a "middle-aged woman who likes to play block games (among others, and probably WOULD spend a few hours a day playing games if I HAD a few hours a day spare) and I buy games my child will enjoy playing" so I suspect I'm about as close to the "casual games target market" as you're going to get on this forum. Anyway - here goes:

    First Appearance:
    • excellent main and sub-menu screens - like the sounds on mouse-over main menu options; like the way the screens slide in and out
    • How to Play screen - white font on bright green background is really hard to focus on - it's "glary". Suggest making the background darker, or perhaps changing to black text with grey shadow (just a guess - it could look horrible) - I'd get a headache - right between the eyes - trying to read that for too long.
    • "The goal of the game is to get as much score as possible" - I'd change this to "get as high a score as possible" or "to get the highest possible score".
    Gameplay:
    • ok - so I start playing and nothing happens! Mouse doesn't move pieces, right-click doesn't rotate them, left-click doesn't drop them! It's not intuitive - needs to have some sort of tutorial (or just a single screen) explaining keyboard is used, left/right arrow keys move the piece, up arrow rotates, space bar drops. Oh, and P pauses the game.
    • ok - playing a LITTLE more and this space bar/up arrow really has me frustrated. Is that the normal way to do it in these Tetris-like games? The ones I play use the mouse. I find myself dropping when I want to rotate - it's frustrating enough that it would stop me buying the full version and I probably wouldn't even see out the demo.
    • I got to choose a bonus - descriptions on some were a bit confusing, but I guess if I played long enough and tried them all out I'd figure it out. Perhaps you could have an illustration of each one in action. Wasn't sure if, when I selected it, it was applied straight away, or I had it on hand for later use (and if so, HOW do I use it?)
    • Played a little more but that space bar is REALLY aggravating! Press the wrong button once and your concentration is gone and it messes up the whole level! Is there ANY way you can implement mouse control? Collapse 2 and Super Rumble Cube do it really well.
    Sorry for so little feedback - if it was easier to grasp the mechanics of the game I'd play longer and give you something more useful. I don't mind games where the challenge comes from advancing to harder levels, or faster levels, or a greater variety of shapes. I DO mind games where you can't enjoy the play because the machanics are so hard to get comfortable with. Of the 40+ Tetris clones you tested, do THEY use the keyboard? Do they use the same keys as you have? Maybe it's just been too long since I played one of these games with anything other than a mouse. Sorry - I wouldn't spend money on this the way it is.
     
  3. RohoMech

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    I kinda disagree with Shazbot, I found the controls were like every other tetris game I've played, and I've played a lot of tetris games.

    That being said, this game has a great amount of polish...but, certain things (check your spelling and grammer!) are not perfect...

    The items and experiance add an interesting element to the game, nice job with hat.
     
  4. Shaz

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    It's nice to know that's just me then - I'm obviously too used to having the mouse.

    I also don't play RPGs so all the experience and bonuses are new to me whereas you might be familiar enough with them to just know what they do and how to use them (that being said though, who is your target audience - people who DO RPGs, or people who don't, and may need some of this stuff explained more clearly?). The online help though, which you haven't finished yet, may sort that out.

    I do like the look of the game, and didn't mention before that the music goes well too, to add to the experience. I'm just sorry I can't get far enough into it to give feedback on the "more advanced" aspects. Hope others will though.
     
    #4 Shaz, Feb 27, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2006
  5. Rubs

    Rubs
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    First of all, thanks for your feedback!

    You probably couldn't find it since it was renamed :D . Last time it was discussed under the name of "Role-Playing Bricks" in this thread.

    Thanks! Will change that text.



    • At first I thought that mouse support will not be much in demand, but after reading your post I thought "what the heck? It is only a few lines of code! why should I restrict my players with keyboard" and I added mouse support today in the morning :). So you can download the fresh version with mouse support already (same link). Left-click drops, righr-click rotates. And thank you for inspiring me to add that feature!

      What about now? :) Can you try playing the game with a mouse, please, and share your opinion?

      When you choose a skill for the few first times a tip appears on the left, telling you how to use that skill. And what concerns bonuses and artefacts, they appear in your game instantly as you select them. There is a role-playing elements tutorial in "How to play?" section, which presents all the elements with their descriptions. But you are right, you can never know well how each one works if you don't try it in action. So, you gotta find out! :)

      BTW, after adding mouse support you can activate "special pieces" by clicking on screen icons when they're ready.

      Oh, did you really find the mechanics of the game hard? Can you tell the same about the version with mouse support?

      Where did you get the 40+ figure? LOL. For it is exactly the number of tetris games I looked through when I was thinking about writing this game. And I can tell that I'm an experienced tetris fan myself.

      I couldn't find a title where you could control the game process and special pieces in this way. There were self-activated and random power-ups, but nothing similar to skills and artefacts which you could "grow" by yourself.

      As for controls, yes, arrows and space are the most frequent controls in tetris games. The one thing that bothered me was that you have to use three other keys for activating skill-generated power-ups, that's why I chose keys which are close to space. But after a short practice seems that using extra keys in tetris is ok.

      Actually, I want to implement controls' customization later, but currently that's not the bottleneck in gameplay and I don't want to spend time on it now.

      Thanks for feedback. That's because english is not my native language. I surely need someone to check game texts. The difficult thing is to find someone that'll do that for free. He he.

      Can you point out exact places/sentences/words where you noticed grammar /spelling errors?

      ---------------------------------

      So, there's a new version on the server now. With mouse support.

      P.S. I wish I could put a couple of more smileys in the post (the system wouldn't let me).
     
  6. Anlino

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    Well... it is Tetris, and now, i could be an ass and say nothing more, but i won't becuase this is probably the best presentation of Tetris i have seen. The GUI, the tones that play when your cursor is hovering on the buttons... it all seems cousy, or something, to me. I think it is a really nice game(For tetris;)).
     
  7. Shaz

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    You're a LEGEND! I'll definitely download and test the new version, and will let you know if I find it easier.

    I saw that, and the "fill" and "remove X lines" and "drill down 6 rows" are pretty self explanatory, but I think I need to see them in action - so will let you know on that front as well.

    Again, it was the confusion between space and up arrow that really got me. I guess I just don't play enough Tetris type games that rely on keyboard.

    It was the "role playing blocks" thread - I DID find that one and knew you'd renamed it - I think it's there you said you'd played that many when researching.

    Thanks for taking my suggestions into account - might take me a day or two to give more feedback, but I definitely will, since you've gone to that trouble ;)
     
  8. Rubs

    Rubs
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    Thanks a lot for warm words! Feels so nice :rolleyes:!

    Thank you, and take your time to torture the game. BTW, it wasn't a trouble at all doing things that're pleasant for players. :)
     
  9. Anlino

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    BTW, may i ask how long it took to develop?
     
  10. Rubs

    Rubs
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    Actual development started in August 2005, before that there was some 4 months of designing and prototyping.

    It took so long, because I have a daily job to make my living and I could only work during evenings/weekends/holidays. Besides there were periods when I could not work on the game at all because of rush pre-release periods at my main work.
     
  11. Tuomas Kanerva

    Tuomas Kanerva
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    I've never been a big fan of Tetris, but gotta say, this is one of the better clones out there. The GUI's very smooth and the whole game seems very polished. While I agree with most of the things mentioned in this thread, there's a few I want to point out:

    -For a game named QuesTrix, there seems to be an utter lack of questing. ;)

    -I found the keyboard controls, even if easier to learn, too slow at higher levels. Mouse controls are faster, but somewhat confusing. The most annoying thing is that when you drag the cursor out of the game screen, it tends to screw up the game badly. Also, keeping track of the cursor was rather problematic for me, because you had to actually move the mouse before the block moved. Maybe you should try making the cursor visible?

    -The sounds are nice and I like the music. Even so, the music gets a little tiring after playing for a while. Maybe have a few in-game tracks and switch between them?

    -When you level up the fill tool from level 3 to 4, you get 1 double fill instead of 4 single shots. Now, I understand why you wouldn't want to give players 4 single shots, but you should at least give them two doubles, so that they don't feel screwed.

    -The tools (or was it skills?) feel unbalanced.

    -I believe it's spelled artifact. (though I'm not one who you should take spelling suggestions from, 'cause, obviously, English isn't the first language here)

    -An online scoreboard would be nice. At the present, there aren't many goals.
     
  12. Shaz

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    Mouse control is MUCH easier for me than keyboard, but I had the same problem with moving off the playfield and onto the menu and losing control of the blocks, and not knowing how much movement I had left before I did cross that line.

    I'm starting to get the hang of the skills (HAD I realised first time around there was more than one screen in the "how to play".... the BACK button was easy to see, but I totally missed that NEXT in the top right corner). Also took me a while to realise when I clicked on the Fill or Drill, that became the next "block" to drop and that's how I'm supposed to use it.

    I also thought the correct spelling was artifact, but I checked http://www.onelook.com/ and it's got both (probably just because the incorrect spelling is so common).

    Still playing - and I'm enjoying it MUCH more than before, without the mouse.
     
  13. Rubs

    Rubs
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    First of all, thanks a lot for feedback!

    I've enhanced mouse controls a bit. Now cursor is visible (you are right, it feels better this way) and buttons work outside of game field as well, so the pieces don't get stuck anymore.

    New version uploaded, link is the same.

    I agree with you, but I cannot afford more music right now. Maybe will do so after getting some sales, though adding music will mean installer fattening as well.

    You think that giving only single shot is too little? But player can "fix" two adjacent holes with this. Can you tell me more what do you feel about filling skill?

    I feel that too myself, that's why I made a public alpha, so people can play and find out what's comfortable and what's not. Can you tell what you think is unbalanced exactly? Perhaps, what made you feel the game is unbalanced?

    I started this thread to discuss that topic :).

    Going to implement it in the future.

    As mentioned above, mouse controls are better in the fresh version. Can you download and try it? For me it definitely feels better now.

    I guess there's still a lot of work left to make the program if not intuitive than at least friendly :)
     
  14. Tuomas Kanerva

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    Well, it might be just me, but I rarely need to fill two adjacent holes. And if you think about it, at level 3 you can fill 3 holes that aren't adjacent, so that's a lot better. Another thing is that I don't use it just for holes that are inside the structure, but also evening the shapes out to allow easier placement of the blocks, if that makes sense. You can propably tell how double filling might make that problematic.

    IMO the fill tool is by far the best tool of the three, no need to explain why I suppose. Dynamite gets substantially more useful at higher levels, but it's never quite the lifesaver like the fill tool since it's best used for getting rid of peaks and such. I never found the drill to be of any use at all. The holes it leaves are very difficult to fill and I fail to see how they'd be of use anyway.

    Yeah, it works a lot better now. The only thing now is that I like the faster fall (down arrow) better than the immediate fall (space key), so I wouldn't mind seeing it implemented.
     
  15. Rubs

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    I think I'll change the order of levels in the filling skill: first will come 1 shot fills (1, 2 and 3 bricks wide) then 2 shot fills and then 3 shot fills. I've got some feedback like yours on the subject. And if people think that this is incorrect then it is :).

    I've uploaded a new version of the game with couple of issues fixed. First fixed some texts as suggested by RohoMech, again, changed all ArtEfacts to Artifacts ;) and made mouse controls optional - some users were complaining it troubled them when using keybord.

    More updates are coming. I'm adding some new stuff and working on the website as well, so you'll see both further game improvements and Cubic Games website as well very soon :) Stay tuned!
     
  16. Kaos

    Kaos
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    I get an error when I start the game, the game runs, but when I go back to mty desktop, I need to close it out. Something about an invalid folder or zip file corrupt; I figure this is interesting as I have not opened a zipped file today or zipped a file/folder lately at all.
     
  17. Rubs

    Rubs
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    Hmm... Very interesting... Can you describe the problem in more detail, please? You go back to the desktop with Alt-Tab or any other method? Are you running the game in fullscreen or windowed mode? What is exactly the message you get (you say you get something about a corrupted zip :eek: ) What happens with the game next?

    You said you get an error when the game starts, but then you mentioned that you need to close it when you go back to the desktop. Can you desribe what is happening more specifically?

    I'd be very thankful if you could help with investigating this issue. This is the first time I've been reported such a thing.

    Thanks beforehand!
     
  18. Kaos

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    not getting the error now, it may be due to a defrag utility that I use. unsure. as now I do not get the error.
     
  19. Rubs

    Rubs
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    phew... (for now :rolleyes:)
     

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