Feedback Request: The Magic Toy Chest (beta)

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by GnadeGames, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. GnadeGames

    Original Member

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    We are currently working hard to finalize, tweak and perfect our next game, The Magic Toy Chest and are seeking vasts amount of constructive criticism. We would appreciate it if everyone would take a few moments to download our beta build and let us know how we can improve the game.

    Direct Download Link (20MB):
    http://www.graduategames.com/Downloads/SetupToyChestBeta.exe

    Gameplay Video:
    http://www.vimeo.com/1210447

    Description:

    The Magic Toy Chest is a physics based puzzle game where you use different toys to move your goal toys into the Toy Chest. It is inspired by classic 2D games such as "The Incredible Machine" You can learn more about the game and look at screenshots here:
    http://www.graduategames.com/toygame.php

    Screens:
    http://www.graduategames.com/images/toyscreen1.png
    http://www.graduategames.com/images/toyscreen2.png
    http://www.graduategames.com/images/toyscreen3.png


    We highly appreciate any feedback concerning graphics, GUI usability, gameplay etc.

    Please tell us what exactly you like or dislike, which levels are interesting/fun to you and which are not. We really want to hammer down a good demo with fun levels prior to the release and hope you will help us along the way.

    We will send you a $5 off coupon for the full version of the game if you give us your feedback or submit a homemade level (make sure we have your email so we can get you the coupon). Thank you so much for your time and interest.
     
    #1 GnadeGames, Jun 20, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  2. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    Similar comment to what I've made about a few other games recently: too much color and detail in the background. There has to be some kind of contrast between the foreground, interactive objects, and the background, decorative ones... otherwise it's very difficult for the user to tell what's what.

    I use the term "contrast" loosely, mind you. It could be in terms of brightness, saturation, hue, level of detail, movement/parallax, or some combination of those things. In your video, though, it was not at all clear at first glance what was foreground and what was background.
     
  3. WaveRider

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    heheh... power puffins... very cute :D
     
  4. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I saw the screenshots and utterly hated the graphics style. From the screenshots it said "seek 'n' find for kids".

    However, it somehow seems to 'work' better when I watched the video. One thing I did notice from the video is that the three baseball bats managed to clog up the toy chest so it was difficult to get anything else in there, and I can see frustration setting in quickly if it gets like that.
     
  5. GnadeGames

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    Glad you came around to the graphics style. Just a note to players and video watchers....anything that falls into the chest that does not belong there can be removed by right clicking on it, so issues like the baseball bat thing hopefully will eliminate frustration issues.
     
  6. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    ...but this comment of his proves my point. At first glance, he couldn't tell the foreground objects from the background, and thought that the objective was to find hidden objects. The interactive objects that are crucial to gameplay shouldn't be hidden!
     
  7. GnadeGames

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    Alex-

    First let me say that there are some hidden object type gameplay in the game. You must find all of the Toy Chest's keys in order to open it.

    At the same time, I want to assure you that I do hear your point about the backgrounds. I think that once the game is in motion/and played that this isn't as big of an issue, but I am going to pursue some image masks for the backgrounds though. I'm thinking about building the option in to switch from full color to b&w, sepia toned, subdued color, etc. in order to help those that think the backgrounds are too much.
     
  8. GnadeGames

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  9. Maupin

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    Haven't tried the actual game, but from watching the video I agree with the comments that the backgrounds are too distracting.
     
  10. GnadeGames

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    There has been a lot of feedback about the backgrounds being distracting. Thanks for all the input...it helped us decide to implement a choice of background filters. These filters can be applied at any time during gameplay via the pause menu. The Login system will change to incorporate a choice of filter when you first create your profile as well. Take a look at the background filter comparison below (not as crisp as I would like..damn jpgs). Hopefully, this will help everyone discern the background from the foreground.
    [​IMG]
    filters from left to right: normal, blur, simplify, antique
     
  11. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think you need to stop with the filter kernels and start with the brightness controls. I'd knock any of those backgrounds back by about 50%

    It's good that the backgrounds are nice, but it's the gameplay people should be seeing first, not the pictures.
     
  12. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    Agree with Applewood. The filters don't help... they just make the backgrounds look like cheap Photoshop jobs. The problem is twofold. First, as Applewood says, the backgrounds do not contrast with the foreground colorwise; they match it in palette, saturation and brightness, so there is no differentiation. Second, the only way in which they do differ from the foreground is in level of detail, but in the opposite of the correct way; the backgrounds have detail and the foreground objects do not. In game design as in art, the level of detail something is given should reflect its importance in the overall composition.

    As an abstract example, look at these two images and ask yourself in which one it is more clear what is foreground and what is background:

    [​IMG]

    Or, if you're into art, compare your screenshots to this Rembrandt, which is a good example of what I'm talking about:

    [​IMG]
     
    #12 AlexWeldon, Jun 25, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008
  13. jeb_

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    Maybe the foreground objects simply need a much stronger outline?

    On another note, in your video you often place/drop objects beneath the GUI. I suggest you do a small re-design so that there's no GUI covering the game field at all, or change the levels so that it's not necessary to solve the puzzle.
     

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