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A jam submission

Less tally cosmicallyView game page

Move selected groups of blocks and destroy others, and your potential directions, aiming to finalize the lowest score
Submitted by Swift Illusion (@Swift_Illusion) — 57 minutes, 42 seconds before the deadline
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Less tally cosmically's itch.io page

Results

CriteriaRankScore*Raw Score
INNOVATION#693.8283.828
DESIGN#1103.6903.690
THEME#1963.5173.517
OVERALL#2013.5863.586
VISUALS#2883.5863.586
SOUNDS#3113.0343.034
MUSIC#4632.6212.621

Ranked from 29 ratings. Score is adjusted from raw score by the median number of ratings per game in the jam.

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Comments

Viewing comments 23 to 4 of 23 · Next page · Last page
Submitted(+2)

I just wanted to leave a comment saying that don’t let this score determine anything you think about this game: this 100% deserves a top 10 spot in overall. Definitely. (Had to check to see where your game came in the final results I was expecting an insanely high ranking, it deserves it)

Developer

That really means a lot to me, thanks a lot for coming back here to let me know.
Regrettably looks like I was hit pretty hard with an estimated 7 anonymous votes giving all 1 stars that really distorted my results. Based on math here with 22 comments and 29 voters, leaving 7 anonymous votes that amount to that 1 star distribution.

Didn't make me feel better looking at my results though sitting here saying 'aha I did the maths though' like some lonely detective lol.
So sincerely thanks for reminding me people got to have fun with the game I made.

Submitted(+1)

No problem, it was an amazing entry. I thought itchio were meant to be cracking down on these 1 star spam ratings but apparently not. I can’t remember where I heard it but I thought the 1-star-spam-ratings got exposed to the hosts of the jam so they could check that users activity and see if there was a pattern, I’m not sure if it’s true though so I’d take that with a pinch of salt. It’s incredibly frustrating to see a game as outstanding as yours getting targeted by this.

Submitted (1 edit) (+1)

A fantastic puzzle game!

Theme:

Less blocks left equals more points! fits the theme and was the main focus of your game. Great work here!

Visuals:

The game has a very polished game play loop, however the ui feel short in this category. This is easily fix though and I am guessing you ran out of time to create a nice looking UI and tutorial!

Innovation:

The game was a refreshing take on the puzzle genre that work perfectly with the theme. Very nice!

Sounds/Music:

There wasn't much to say here. It would have been nice to hear what you came up with though!

*Edit*  When I went back through and played again, I was playing on the webGL version, which had incredibly low volume. So I forgot it had sound effects and music. I cranked my volume to 100 and still had a hard time hearing it in this version.  The download version did have better sound quality.  The music was fitting and so were the sound effects. 

Overall:

This was a great entry of the puzzle genre variety. The main gameplay loop worked flawlessly as far as I could tell. There was a lot of polish as well. The main draw backs was lack of music/soundFX and a clean UI. The introduction to the game was nice, but a further explanation or better tutorial would have gone a long way to help reinforce the rules of the game to the player. I did end up playing this on stream and off stream because I found the mechanics very fun! Thanks for entering this into the jam!


Streamed here, starts at minute 25:

Developer

:D Thanks a lot.

- Glad the theme was felt throughout the gameplay.

- Wondering here, did you miss the menu, or was it that you didn't feel it matched up as closely with the block title screen? Not sure as you finished the video short of interacting with the menu. Glad you felt the rest of the polish though.

- Happy to hear you enjoyed the kind of puzzle and interactions created here :) .

- Not quite sure what you mean here?  I designed all the sounds. And found and chose the music I felt fit best to play in the background. I could even hear the music/sound though low in your stream. Based on your following comments, you must have had the volume down or missed them somehow?

- Real happy you had fun with the gameplay loop that was designed for the experience :) and the polish alongside it.
As above, you missed the sound/music, and possibly UI that you reach by dragging from left to right?
Working now on trying to design another tutorial step that can fit between 2 and 3 (the final step) to ease that in a bit for the post-jam update after this finishes. Just need to make sure to get the players attention so they don't mistake it as a level based puzzle game, and make sure the extra step doesn't lose value for the current 3rd step, I do think I've found a good solution for it now though.

Makes me smile absolutely to hear you continue to come back and play it after the stream too, I really hope though you'll play it another time though with volume etc checked so you get to experience the sound/music and can vote on those categories, as well as see the menu and additional options you'll find there. :D Thanks for playing it all the same already though.

Developer(+1)

Saw the edit, thanks a lot for taking the time to visit it again for the sound/music. Hoped to ask though, have you played with your individual application volumes and reduced your browser volume? I balance audio volume to be approximately average relative to for example youtube videos and the like. The webgl/windows build have the exact same volume for me, so I wondered if that might have been your issue.
Otherwise I'd like to know what browser you used in-case there might be some obscure Unity volume issue I'm not aware of.

Submitted(+1)

I had all volumes to 100%. I was using google chrome to play it as well. I honestly couldn't tell you why it was like that, other than I know webGL is finnicky at best for unity builds.  I hope others don't run into the issue, but if they do, then maybe there is a compression issue? Just a wild guess at this point.

Developer (1 edit)

Thanks a lot for responding. That's weird. Could I ask please what operating system you are using (Just realized that might be silly with you playing the windows version, but you're not on Linux with chrome but using a virtual machine to play it on Windows?)
I couldn't see anything from searching like an immediate problem to point to from Unity, and it worked for me in the latest Chrome no problem, same volume. So if I can have more details then if it comes up again for anyone else I can have more known factors to cross reference I'd really appreciate.

Submitted(+1)

I use a windows 64 bit machine. Windows 10. 

Processor: Intel(R) Core (TM) i5-3470 CPU @ 3.2GHz (not overclocked)

8GB RAM

Developer(+1)

Thanks a lot for that.

Submitted(+1)

No problem! good luck!

Submitted(+1)

Such a unique puzzle experience, and such a great final polish to a game! I was a little confused about the gameplay, so I wish there were a few more introductory level, but other than that this was a great submission and a great game!

Developer

:D thanks, appreciate you trying it, and real happy you ended up enjoying it and felt the polish for it!
I do feel there could be room to fit a smaller challenge before the final intro board, so I'd really appreciate a response about why you felt that way:
- One concern was the player mistaking it for a level based puzzle game if I stepped forward too slowly. Do you think you would mistake it for that if there was another challenge closer to the first 2 steps of the tutorial?
- What was the main area you weren't sure about when you reached that introductory board? Was it the mirroring loop of blocks, or did you want some more time to be comfortable with the arrows and general group selection? Or are you after just a few less moving pieces than the introductory board, without introducing the scoring yet? Was there a level of intimidation because the board opened up more at the same time as the scoring was introduced, that could have been eased into?

Developer

Was able to design a new step 3 I'm happy with:
https://i.gyazo.com/3f451e6252dec208513b909c650bd81b.png
And adjusted the final step as a result:
https://i.gyazo.com/a60f11e13a3e1e56f5080b0e40102bc3.png
Basically tried to design it so after destroying the arrows, move the fixation off that while giving players a chance to get more familiar with how the blocks move around with a more finite goal. Before the final step which is a bit looser, where they should hopefully be more comfortable after completing a specific goal, and thinking more broadly about how to approach lowering their score.
Also it allows the introduction of the score estimate, and final score calculation separately, to reduce the number of elements showing up at each stage.
Hope you think this would have helped you?

Submitted(+1)

Interestingly enough before I settled on my theme, one of the ideas I had was to do a block puzzle in which you removed blocks from the play space. Thankfully I went in a totally different direction as your take on the idea was much better than mine haha! I couldn't think of any kind of interesting or unique mechanic when I was toying with the idea but your implementation is fantastic.

I love the idea that clearing the play space is the core objective, but in doing so each move becomes more difficult so you have to weight up a lot of factors each time. The music, sounds and art style all complemented it beautifully and it was very replayable. One of the best entries I've seen for the jam on all fronts. Great work :)

Developer(+1)

Haha, happy to hear I was able to make a fun game for you to experience while you worked on another fun idea :) . Thanks a lot.

Yep :D that was the part of the core concept, glad you felt that weigh on your decisions. 1 of its layers of less is more, is definitely how the less left on the board, your next decision feels like it has even more impact, and the risk/reward/timings of what to lose and what you can afford to lose when builds. Happy to hear the games aesthetics game together to help just strengthen that experience for you :) .
:D thanks so much. And thanks again for trying the game.

Submitted(+1)

Was a pleasure!

Forgot to share my high score (or low score? :p) after a handful of games haha:


Developer(+1)

^^!

Oh :D that's a super impressive score! Under 40% is like, showoff territory lol. Getting under a hundred is frame it on your wall moment haha so you were just short of that, nice :) . So happy to see you enjoying it enough to get down to that score.

Submitted(+1)

Haha thank you very much!

Submitted(+1)

This is a very unique puzzler. Fun and challenging too. I did have a little trouble telling if my scores were good or bad. With leaderboards for the Daily Board, I think this could be a really great mobile game.

Developer (4 edits)

Thanks, glad you had fun with it :) .
For scoring, in the tutorial it brings up under 200, and even better getting below 50%. You'll also have effects come up when you get below those 2 targets to compliment you reaching them as good and great scores. For further reference, I like to set my goal as getting under 40% average for my last 3 boards, and this is one of my games I'm actually good at haha so take that for whatever it's worth. My best L3 of all time is 31% and I still can't believe I actually managed that, after the previous 33% I had I thought I wouldn't beat.
Generally I think it's better if you just try and improve at your own pace, and get a feel for how well you can do and how well you want to keep doing, knowing that there's a 'cap' for how well you can complete a level. Another option if possible is comparing with others. Today I managed to get 135/43% on the daily.

For leaderboards, I hope that I can explain why I don't think they'd work for my game.
- The goal here is to do your best at the puzzle and try to get the lowest score you can reach. There's a nice amount of variance and ways to reach lower scores and compete from potentially different angles, however boards naturally have a *best potential*. Unlike other action/strategy games with daily leaderboards that have a high score for people to try and reach that you want to compete with, having a score shown here would instead tell people 'this is the best score available, try and find this solution', which is counter to the feeling I'm aiming for. I'd rather people challenge themselves and/or others and go 'oh wow, I actually found a lower score!' Instead of feeling pressured to match what someone else discovered (assuming a large enough playerbase to to consider that solution discovered).
I recognize that different people engage with leaderboards in different ways, and sometimes personal goals aren't as motivating, but that's what seed's and daily's are here for-though they aren't leaderboards to easily access competing with others-they give you a way to tangibly compare scores when you do have someone to compare to. And the Last 3 boards average gives you a longterm goal to achieve and compare/compete for with yourself or others beyond single boards.
If you still think you'd desire a leaderboard with the above, and knowing if I could find a solution it may not be the leaderboard you imagine (there's no evident manageable cross-platform solution, and it'd likely be mobile, separate for android and IOS), honestly let me know. I could see a 'leaderboard' which if can be achieved just shows the best score achieved for the daily for you to compare against.
I'll consider it more if enough demand grows for it, but for now my most active player I know besides me specifically doesn't want a leaderboard. So the votes even out for now.
It will besides all that though be coming to mobile soon, though sorry IOS will be awhile off if you have that device as that's more complicated and will depend on when I'm in a position to go through the hurdles required for that.
EDIT: As a reference to my points above about the leaderboard, I was absolutely sure today's daily couldn't get below 43%, and the player I mentioned just came and showed off 126/40% and I had to do a double take, and they were over the moon when I was surprised about that, and I was real happy about that moment. You couldn't have moments like that with a leaderboard which could theoretically tell you the 'best score' for sure in a day.

Submitted(+1)

Personally, when I gauge my own performance, I prefer to do it against what's possible for a given board rather than what sorts of scores I get on average, because it's possible some board just has a different limit on how well you can do. Leaderboards don't necessarily need to be the solution. Average scores from other players would work just as well for me. I generally am not personally motivated to try and top leaderboards. I am however motivated strongly by beating averages. That's all just my own taste though.

Developer

Just trying to dig into your goal some more, I'm a bit confused. You're generally not motivated to top leaderboards, but you'd like to beat averages. Do you mean, a leaderboard that would average the daily scores, kind of like the zachtronic games, rather than trying to compare directly against the best outcome of a daily? So you'd be comparing against the average of those that submitted their score to the daily?

Submitted(+1)

Yeah. I initially said leaderboard because it's the standard way of letter people compare scores that also accomplishes what I'd personally like. I don't use leaderboards like most people. I scroll down quite a ways through them to get a sense of what counts as a high score, not necessarily the best scores, and a sense of the curve of scores so I can roughly estimate how I did. A simple Daily Average accomplishes what I want far better, although I'm sure plenty will still want to know they got the best score possible.

Although ultimately I advise you not introduce anything that goes against what you personally are trying to accomplish with your game. Don't muddle your game by taking every person's suggestion in a doomed attempt to appeal to everyone. Daily Average would make the game more appealing to me, but if you want to avoid making players feel pressured, then you might want to say screw what Enchessency wants haha.

Developer (1 edit)

Thanks so much for taking the time to really detail what you were meaning and how you interact with leaderboards yourself.
Appreciate your understanding that it's not always the right choice to add in every request to a game, but regardless I really wanted to understand your perspective better to take that consideration alongside what other opinions may arise. That way I could more thoroughly consider if some additions could improve the game for the majority of people or not, and see if I could design it to try and catch both sides.
For now I'm sorry to say it would be safest to assume it won't be added, but if it is I'll have been able to take all this into consideration.

Submitted(+1)

Nice game ! This is a complex one where you have to think twice before playing a move. However, I want to play more and more ahah :D

Developer

Thanks :D ! That few but important moves was part of the goal so I'm glad you felt that way, and real happy you had fun enough to want to play more :) !

Submitted(+1)

Very good game, but at first it's very hard to understand how to play it.

Developer

Thanks :) !
Do you recall what you struggled to understand at first?

Submitted

For me it was hard to understand what arrows do, how blocks move and destroy each other.

Developer

Did you go through the how to play game?

Submitted(+1)

Great game design, very polished, congratulations! :)

Developer

:D thanks a lot! Real happy you had a fun time with it and the polish showed :) .

Submitted(+1)

Nice cosnept and game design, I like the way you use the theme



Developer

Thanks a lot :) , glad you enjoyed it and the use of the theme. I really liked how much fun your own Sponge Wars had with the theme and how it gave the game personality and charm, so I'm happy to hear this more abstract game mechanics take on the theme was liked by you too.

Submitted(+1)

Outstanding game! I am so pleased this is coming to mobile at some point in  the future! I really love the option for seeded generation too, it automatically gives it a community-oriented feel, which is great!

Graphics: Simplistic but effective. I'm glad you didn't add too much visual clutter so you can more easily focus on what actually matters in the game. In the future I'd like to see an option to change the types of background (that's just extra, not like you should've had it in the jam version :D)

Innovation: This concept is very unique and very well executed! The circular movement is a bit odd at first but definitely makes the game more dynamic. Maybe there could be a way for you to highlight where the cubes are going next if you click a certain arrow for extra clarity? That might just be me though! The idea and main gameplay mechanic is perfect for the theme too! 

Sound: The music was fit well in the background and wasn't too distracting for a game that is focussed on thinking logically. The breaking sound effects were also very satisfying and rewarding to hear!

Tutorial: The tutorial communicated well the objectives of the game, and provided a good opportunity to test out the mechanics. I also appreciate it being a guided tutorial, instead of a sandbox-esque one. The UI in the main game is a bit intimidating at first, but once you start to playing it all kind of fits into place and you get the hang of it.

Design: The game design and general implementation of the concept was done extremely well! The procedural generation also works very well, I'm not sure how it would be done but maybe there could be a way of adjusting the difficulty of the board when randomly generating it? The tile system also fits perfectly, and overall the experience was well refined and polished.

I've tried to give some suggestion for improving but realistically this game as it stands is truly incredible (especially considering its a jam game.) The game design is amazing, and generally this deserves to rank very high in the final ratings! I'll be playing this again!

Developer

Can't express how happy I am you enjoyed this game so much :D , and thanks so much for the thorough feedback :).
Definitely wanted the kind of community and/or friendly competitive option available for this kind of game, so I'm glad you're happy for that option too.

- Thanks, my goal throughout refining its presentation was definitely balancing the clarity and simple presentation besides giving it some personality and atmosphere that wouldn't make it feel more busy. Trying to help the player but not backfire and make it feel more intimidating than it was. This is where it was day 2
Not sure a custom background could add any value to it, but might consider if a playerbase grows for it when it reaches mobile of unlocking after getting a score under 50% an option to strengthen and change the color of the backdrop kind of glow which wouldn't be too difficult and wouldn't break the games presentation.

- Thanks a lot. It's definitely there to make it more dynamic, and so the locations of blocks can end up in more varied locations throughout play and evolve the board state more and options more. I'd rather not need you to click an arrow to see where a cube is going because that hurts the pacing, but I do want a final addition to make room in a settings menu for 'extra edge clarity', that would mark numbers around the board too so you know number>number.
Glad the theme/gameplay clicked for you :) .

- Glad to hear that, I think music is one of the most challenging things to get right for puzzle games, so I was happy when I eventually found that and felt it right for this game. Nice to know it worked well for you too.
:D real glad to hear the sound effects were satisfying and rewarding, that was the goal! Designing the explosion was one of the toughest sounds as I was looking for something that gave a lot of impact because it was an important interaction in the game, and felt very much like an explosion, but with the slightest hint of cute kind of haha. Nice to know they achieved their goal.

- An important goal for me at the start was to finish a proper tutorial for the game, so it's a relief to see it has worked well. It was a balancing act of what did the player absolutely need to know without making it feel like more was happening than actually was, and what interactions could they find out and get more experience with during play. But then giving them that first experience still inside the tutorial and a concrete first objective. Reassuring to hear it clicked together well for you.

- :D real happy to hear so. I'm not sure a 'difficulty' would really work for this experience, because that might imply in this puzzle-kind of gameplay that there was a solution, rather than a challenge unlike an action game, and would break up the simplicity of the daily/seeds/scoring streaks . A lot more layers of interface would need to be added and complicate its core.
I have however already designed some intentional balance in the board generation, to keep it more fair and not just completely random. There will always be the 4 first arrows spawned in the upper/right/lower/left area of the board before 2 random ones in random locations, so you can have a variety of boards, but you won't end up with a really bad board where all the arrows are stuck together in one corner for example. And besides that there's always 3 of every value + 2 random values.

I can't get this grin off my face :D . It means a lot to me for players to get joy from my games, so hearing all this really makes me so happy. Part of my goal at the start of the gamejam too was to make a game that felt so compact and final but valuable, that adding, removing, or changing any part just wouldn't feel natural, so hearing your final note makes me really glad. Honored to hear that praise, but importantly thanks a lot for playing and taking the time for this feedback, and I hope you'll be getting more fun out of it on mobile in the future or whenever you first come back to it :) .

Submitted(+1)

Good puzzle game. You did a great work on polish. Sounds and music are good too.  The only think that could bother me is that (if I got it) level are not meant to be cleared but make the best score possible. Though that's a great game.

Developer

Thanks a lot :) .
Yeah, the objective is, in general, to get the least tiles remaining in the least turns. It's literally impossible to clear the board because at most you could possibly have an arrow move the last remaining block to destroy itself, but then you'd still have that numbered block. That's why there's also the more tangible objectives of getting below 200 and below 50% each board, besides the goal of seeking the best lowest score.
Because you want arrows remaining if you still need to move blocks(though can also be the best source to reduce your score), and the different blocks have different values, there's more layers of depth available to you after you play more than just trying to remove any block.

Submitted(+1)

Really fun to play, took me a second to figure it out but it's really well done. Good job!

Developer

Real happy to hear you had a fun time with it :) ! Thanks! And thanks for playing it :) .

Submitted(+1)

I may like this game more than I should xD

This is the first Game Jam game I came back to on a second day, and damn this game is great. I already did a comment with all my thoughts and feedback on the game so I won't really do it a second time. Can't wait for the mobile release!

Btw, got a 112 (37%) on the daily board! >:D I doubt it's even possible to beat that!

Developer

Gosh this makes me too happy :D . So glad to hear you having that much fun with it and really appreciate you letting me know you're still enjoying it so :) . Will be posting a devlog sharing when it gets  to each store for sure. Looking forward to getting it to you.

Very awesome score :D . After 4 games I managed to match that, and after 8 I thought you might have been right, but just before concluding so I'm sorry to say on the 9th, :D
https://i.gyazo.com/7eca4bec81620add3498d02e8934e8f0.png

Submitted(+1)

Neat concept. Felt like a pro when I took out a handful of tiles with one move.

FYI I’m not certain how to open the menu in the HTML5 version (I’m assuming that’s what the “>” is on the side. Refreshing the page does reseed the board though.

Developer

Thanks :) , yeah when you get those moments where a bunch of blocks and the right blocks explode it creates really satisfying moments.

You just hold the left mouse anywhere and drag towards the right, mentioned at the end of the tutorial in-case but didn't really emphasize it.
Glad you managed to work around it with refreshing to play again though.

Submitted(+1)

It's such a great puzzle game! The graphics are really clean, the music is really cool and the gameplay is interesting. But I'm not very good at it ngl, I'm not good enough at thinking far ahead.

Developer

Thanks a lot :D!
Real happy it all came together for you enough that it still felt like a good experience, even if you weren't the best at playing it :) . Thanks for taking the time to try it still.

Submitted(+1)

I love the main menu buttons and how different sections light up when you clicked them! The design is so well done!

The soft background music is super good as well! Really enjoyed playing this game!

Developer(+1)

Glad to hear you appreciated the polish that reached the menu's too :) .

Happy to hear you liked the background music, always tricky finding the balance for puzzly games so appreciate knowing it worked well for you.
:D thanks for playing, real happy you got to have a fun time with it.

Submitted(+1)

Hard but great puzzle game :)

Developer

Thanks for playing, happy you had a good time with it :) . That's a nice score to finish with too, well done.

Submitted(+1)

Ay I love this game! 

The game is very polished and fun to play, and a great brainteaser. Also, I really like the touch of the color of the borders indicating where the blocks will endup; really nice. 

Btw, I got a 119 (41%) on board seed 198165; pretty good, hm?

Developer

:D real happy to hear you had a good time with it!

Thanks so much, glad the borders helped you as intended :) .

That's a great score! I was just short of it on my first attempt with 120, took me 6 more attempts but managed to get below it :) 

Submitted(+1)

I just love the setting seed part! I've been putting tons of random seeds for a while now!

Developer

Real glad you enjoyed that addition :) thanks !

Submitted(+1)

Well after 5 attemps i got %51 :D. This game was one of the best designed games i have seen in this jam. The scoring system is a bit confusing at first but you get used to it pretty quick. I think you can work on it a bit more then release this game to mobile platforms. Overall i enjoyed it amazing work :D

Developer

Very nice score! Thanks so much for the compliment :D real happy to hear you ended up having so much fun with it
It'll definitely be coming to mobile officially moreso than the apk download after my other release :) so I hope you'll get to have more fun with it in the future too.
:D thanks again and for playing it.

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