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Author Topic: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]  (Read 20010 times)

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CJ_COIMBRA

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2013, 02:22:21 pm »
A few parts of the game work this way already (loading when necessary), but the core still not (because I need to refactor some critical stuff before in order to do so).
CJ

Nexus

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2013, 02:42:17 pm »
But do you still use sf::Image or store the graphics in another format? Because if you load them with sf::Texture, the RAM should be kept almost free -- everything is on the graphics card.
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CJ_COIMBRA

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2013, 02:58:06 pm »
I am using sf::Image because I'm sticking with 1.6 for now. Maybe that's a good reason to migrate...
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« Last Edit: June 12, 2013, 02:12:37 pm by CJ_COIMBRA »
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CJ_COIMBRA

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2013, 03:53:17 am »
Hi, again.

After a long period it seems that we are getting to the end of this! So, I´d like to invite anyone interested in puzzle games to test the full game this time (not the demo). The game has 8 levels that you unlock one after each other in the normal mode and 64 quick puzzles that you also unlock the next one.

It still has some bugs and stability issues that we are aware of and working to fix them. The idea is to try the Steam Greenlight so any feedback is welcome in order to improve our chances to get there.


http://www.mediafire.com/?ooh9fnlstw9zjc3


Thanks.
CJ

Kojay

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2013, 05:13:39 am »
Hello,

I played through the first level. The visuals and audio appear very sleek and professional. The gameplay on the other hand I did not find particularly engaging. I must admit, I 'm still fuzzy on the details. A few things to note:

-The tutorial tips come after making moves - and they 're things I 'd have rather known before.
-Queen combos card is available before the first queen appears
-Inability to move same piece twice is never stated and comes as a nasty surprise just when ready to pull a big fat combo off
-The rules for connceted pieces are not entirely clear

Despite being this fuzzy, I got 1305 pts and 3/4 treasures. At no point did I feel I would not make it or that I had to really sink into thought.

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #36 on: September 16, 2013, 05:34:24 am »
Thanks for taking the time to play. I´ll take the points you mentioned to the main designer for discussion.

Quote
Despite being this fuzzy, I got 1305 pts and 3/4 treasures. At no point did I feel I would not make it or that I had to really sink into thought.
The ideia here is to increase the difficulty each cleared level. Maybe the first one is too easy?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 12:19:06 pm by CJ_COIMBRA »
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Ixrec

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #37 on: September 16, 2013, 05:54:30 am »
Wow, nitpicking is more fun than I thought.  Prepare yourself...

I've never touched any previous version of the game, and I've only played one level so far, and here's what made me scratch my head:

-The border for the playing field seems to cover up the bottom row slightly; nowhere near enough to interfere with gameplay but it does look odd
-I'm not sure if I agree with Kojay's claim about the tips coming up after you need them, tbh there's so much information in them I think it would've overwhelmed me all at once, BUT I think they shouldn't cover up the playing field so much, because then I forget what I just did and can't see what the effect was, and that definitely makes it harder to figure out for the first few moves.
-I had a lot of trouble telling which chess pieces are which (the blue things in particular I had no idea were pawns for a while), so it might be a good idea to add some popup text to clarify that as part of the tutorial feature
-I have no idea why the "Demand" mechanic exists, maybe it was explained and I missed it but I just don't remember it and it seems really pointless.  Why not just let everyone keep all the points they earned?  It's simpler and more satisfying.
-In the top right it says "Next Tresure", which is not only a typo, but confused me for a while because it shows the treasure currently on screen, not the next one; not sure what the optimal terminology is for that
-I'm totally confused as to what the criteria are for cascading (ie, after you do a match and new pieces fall to replace them, and those new ones happen to form a match, does that new set of matching pieces get destroyed and turned into points?).  Maybe I'm missing something, but to me it felt completely random when it did and didn't occur.
  Edit: Especially confusing is when I make three matches, then the game only counts one of them and ignores the other two, even when falling blocks didn't undo those matches.
-I see a lot of comments about queen combos but personally I had no trouble performing them (maybe that's been fixed).  My problem was finding the opportunity to do them; partly because of all the impenetrable blocks I had a couple useless queens lying around for most of the game, but in the end I did manage two of them, so I assume this is deliberately balancing.
-The tutorials really should switch themselves Off after the first usage.

I got 3/4 treasures and 790 points.
-Hmm, it says my high score is 50, not 790.  No idea what's going on there.

Edit: Well, considering neither of us got all four treasures on our first tries, I wouldn't say the first level is too easy.

Oh, also tried Puzzle mode for a bit:

-The puzzle pieces on the puzzle selection screen don't appear to be lined up correctly with the chessboard spaces.  In the actual puzzles they're fine.
-When playing one of the puzzles, the moves and turns left numbers in the top left corner look lower than they should be.
-Puzzle 3 seems to be a good example of my confusion regarding cascading rules: It seems like moving the leftmost night from d5 to f4 might work, but it tells me I failed even when all three knights are touching after the kings are destroyed.

Like everyone else said, cool graphics and music and neat idea for a puzzle game.  Hopefully this post helps.  I might try the other levels later to see if I spot anything else.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2013, 06:02:54 am by Ixrec »

Ixrec

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #38 on: September 16, 2013, 06:12:25 am »
Played Castle Walls, got 3/4 treasures and 550 points but the high score's only 70.  The cascade confusion was much worse on this level, sometimes I got -10 on a turn where I should've easily gotten 50.

Also, is there some way to make treasures appear faster?  It seems like there has to be as the fourth one never showed up in this level, but I don't remember anything like that from the tutorial.

CJ_COIMBRA

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #39 on: September 16, 2013, 03:35:07 pm »
Ok, thank you for the very informative feedback!

I'll try to comment on your items:

Quote
-I'm not sure if I agree with Kojay's claim about the tips coming up after you need them, tbh there's so much information in them I think it would've overwhelmed me all at once, BUT I think they shouldn't cover up the playing field so much, because then I forget what I just did and can't see what the effect was, and that definitely makes it harder to figure out for the first few moves.
Well it's clear that the tutorial needs work. We had a tutorial screen back on older versions that explained the game step by step but no one would care to read it then we decided to take it into the game, maybe we should think a bit more on this feature since the game depends on the player knowing what to do.

Quote
-I had a lot of trouble telling which chess pieces are which (the blue things in particular I had no idea were pawns for a while), so it might be a good idea to add some popup text to clarify that as part of the tutorial feature
We had a help frame just as the treasures and special combos for this but with the highlighting of the possible landing tiles we decided to take it out as it would be redundant. Did you notice the highlighting I mentioned?

Quote
-I have no idea why the "Demand" mechanic exists, maybe it was explained and I missed it but I just don't remember it and it seems really pointless.  Why not just let everyone keep all the points they earned?  It's simpler and more satisfying.
Well it is explained in the tutorial, to be more precise when the demand is subtracted for the first time. It is a game design feature, on the later levels (with higher demand values) if you cant satisfy the demand and your total score goes negative, part of the board will became unavailable (also explained on the tutorial). You can "open" the board again by getting positive. I'll raise this discussion with the game designer.

Quote
-In the top right it says "Next Tresure", which is not only a typo, but confused me for a while because it shows the treasure currently on screen, not the next one; not sure what the optimal terminology is for that
Yeah I'll fix that. There will be a little animation when you spawn the treasure as well.

Quote
-I'm totally confused as to what the criteria are for cascading (ie, after you do a match and new pieces fall to replace them, and those new ones happen to form a match, does that new set of matching pieces get destroyed and turned into points?).  Maybe I'm missing something, but to me it felt completely random when it did and didn't occur.
  Edit: Especially confusing is when I make three matches, then the game only counts one of them and ignores the other two, even when falling blocks didn't undo those matches.
Yeah, it's a loop. You move three pieces then the matching happens. After that, if no more matches are found, the existing pieces fall from their positions and new ones fall from the top, again, the matching happens ... if at this point no matches are found, then the total is calculated (turn score - demand) and it's your turn again.

The game shouldn't ignore matchs, if this happened then I got a serious bug to solve. However a match just happen if you have a least 3 horizontal pieces straight (or vertical). Example:

this is a match:
XXX

this is also a match:
X
X
X

and also this (even the irregular X below because I have the base 3 horizontally)
XXX
YYX

but this is not because I dont have at least three in sequence be horizontal or vertical:
XX
YX


Quote
-I see a lot of comments about queen combos but personally I had no trouble performing them (maybe that's been fixed).  My problem was finding the opportunity to do them; partly because of all the impenetrable blocks I had a couple useless queens lying around for most of the game, but in the end I did manage two of them, so I assume this is deliberately balancing.
-The tutorials really should switch themselves Off after the first usage.
We had problems on the past, but they were solved I guess. Special combos using queens should be very special and  we are trying to find a balance here.

Quote
I got 3/4 treasures and 790 points.
-Hmm, it says my high score is 50, not 790.  No idea what's going on there.
I'll check this, could be a bug saving the score perhaps. Did you notice this on the "level cleared" screen ?

Did you by any chance run into game crashes? Would you kindly provide my your computer specs?

Again, thanks.
CJ

Ixrec

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2013, 08:49:20 pm »
Nope, no crashes.

@Piece confusion: Yeah I did see those highlights, though that didn't always make it immediately obvious what a piece was because of the solid blocks cutting off some of the movement paths.  In retrospect though it seems like you're right, it should've been enough...maybe the tutorials covering up what I was doing made it worse than it should've been?

@Demand: Ooooooh, that explains why part of the board got cut off during Castle Wall.  I had no idea that was related to Demand in any way.  I'll reread the tutorial later and see if I can identify why I missed it.

@Matching Rules: Ah, I think that might be a big part of the answer for me.  Personally, those matching rules feel strange.  I would have expected it to be either 3, 4, 5, etc in a row, or 3, 4, 5 etc all touching each other in any pattern.  Requiring them to all touch each other but also contain a 3-in-a-row just seems arbitrary.  Again, I'll reread the tutorial and see if I missed something, but it doesn't seem like the matching you describe is in any way a critical part of the design.

@High score: Yes, on the level cleared screen and on the level select screen afterward.  It's especially odd because the level cleared screen does show my "total," which seems right.  If that's different from my score then that's yet another thing I'm confused on.

Ixrec

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #41 on: September 17, 2013, 11:10:21 am »
Okay, reread the tutorial.

-The tutorials say something about a "movement button" with a cross-shaped icon that I can't find anywhere in the UI.  No wonder I felt lost the first time I read the tutorial.

-The tutorials do not mention what happens if you fail to meet Demand, it only says that Demand is deducted from your score every turn.  I was looking for it this time so I'm quite sure it didn't come up.
  Does the explanation for this only appear after you fail to meet Demand? Because I don't think I ever failed that in the first level.

-Very minor, but when you get a queen combo, let's say Queen's Coronation for 200, the +200 appears four times even though you get 200 points for it, not 800.

CJ_COIMBRA

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #42 on: September 17, 2013, 04:56:58 pm »
Hi,

Quote
...maybe the tutorials covering up what I was doing made it worse than it should've been?
Good idea, that will be done (removing the tutorial sheet from the center).

Quote
@High score: Yes, on the level cleared screen and on the level select screen afterward.  It's especially odd because the level cleared screen does show my "total," which seems right.  If that's different from my score then that's yet another thing I'm confused on.
After trying some times I could reproduce this bug. I´ll investigate why is this happening and should be fixed on the next build as it is critical.

Quote
-The tutorials say something about a "movement button" with a cross-shaped icon that I can't find anywhere in the UI.  No wonder I felt lost the first time I read the tutorial.
Yep, I forgot to change the text.

Quote
-The tutorials do not mention what happens if you fail to meet Demand, it only says that Demand is deducted from your score every turn.  I was looking for it this time so I'm quite sure it didn't come up.
  Does the explanation for this only appear after you fail to meet Demand? Because I don't think I ever failed that in the first level.
I forced the situation and it does tell that the board will shut, after the board shut for the first time. If it didn´t show for you then there is a bug with whatever triggers this tutorial frame. I´ll investigate.

Quote
-Very minor, but when you get a queen combo, let's say Queen's Coronation for 200, the +200 appears four times even though you get 200 points for it, not 800.
I am aware of this one. It´s a visual problem only like you´ve noticed. It´s on the (growing) list to-do!

Thanks for keep testing.
CJ

CJ_COIMBRA

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #43 on: September 17, 2013, 05:04:37 pm »
Oh, I forgot this one:
Quote
@Matching Rules: Ah, I think that might be a big part of the answer for me.  Personally, those matching rules feel strange.  I would have expected it to be either 3, 4, 5, etc in a row, or 3, 4, 5 etc all touching each other in any pattern.  Requiring them to all touch each other but also contain a 3-in-a-row just seems arbitrary.  Again, I'll reread the tutorial and see if I missed something, but it doesn't seem like the matching you describe is in any way a critical part of the design.

Well I agree with you in parts. The problem is that my partner came up with this idea and according to him it is what makes the game different from other match 3 games. Worse or better... I don´t know. Back there when I was coding the matching mechanics I would love it to be the classic match 3 because it is way easier to acomplish than this hybrid we have now. Maybe if it´s better explained on the tutorials it could tend to be better than it looks like now.
CJ

Ixrec

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Re: Chesster [SFML Puzzle Game]
« Reply #44 on: September 17, 2013, 08:54:15 pm »
I think you can get away with the strange matching rules if you have some visual feedback that directly reflects the rules.  For instance, draw a line after the player moves which shows the 3-in-a-row that makes it a valid match, then when pieces get destroyed you start with the 3-in-a-row under that line, and then adjacent pieces of the same type get destroyed afterward.  Thus if you make a move that doesn't produce a match, no line is drawn and the player clearly sees that.  Right now the feedback is simply piece x number, which implies you want a blob of pieces of any shape, hence my confusion.

I'm still not sure if it makes the game different in a meaningful way though.  All it does it disallow
XX          XX
YX  and  XX
which doesn't seem like that significant a change.  The chess piece movement thing seems like enough of a unique mechanic already.  Still, it's probably fine if you make some kind of visual change to clarify it.

 

anything