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There is literally nothing fun about:
a. A blind drop into spikes
b. A blind drop into an enemy that may or may not be underneath you
c. A blind drop into a room full of enemies
d. The first boss (who I ended up jumping over)
e. Spikes you can walk into the side of
In hard games that feature these sorts of things, there's often something else going on that is balancing out the risk/reward factor and there's often a layer of progress on top of whether you reached the checkpoint or not.
There's a lot here that's really promising, but some of the level design choices contribute to a building sense of bad faith that eventually just makes you give up when the game finds a new way to screw you over.
The final run of levels were satisfyingly hardcore :) My only disappointment was that I couldn't cover a trodden-paint mishap with a crate, though the discovery that this wasn't a mechanic came as some relief when I got into the late stages.
I'm also now deeply invested in the Aurum Puzzlescript universe!
I don't know if the elevator is hiding the level loading, but if it's not I think the game would work better rhythmically if they were less frequent. At the moment a lot of the game is spent in the elevator waiting for the next level.
Also, on OSX the right-click to fire while holding something doesn't really work, as a right-click is a two-finger click. If there were keybinds for firing, this wouldn't be an issue.
I thought you handled it well! There's a real virtue to levels that are impossible-feeling until you've grasped a concept or non-intuitive interaction, as they let the player discover something rather than just seeing it demonstrated to them. The elegance of level 9 is that you understand you must have missed something important and it's simple enough to guide you towards the interaction you haven't yet tried.
This one made me laugh! It also seems like it might have some potential for interesting puzzles. But alas you are condemned to explore the same level for the rest of your days, like some sort of sokosisyphus.
This is brilliant! The mechanics produce so many wrong-feeling moves that just go against every instinct years of sokoban-ing has instilled, and these new concepts have all sorts of subtle interactions of their own. It's genuinely delightful to play.
Hey! Sorry to jump into this game's comments, but comments are disabled on the recent puzzlescript level variations. I'd love to know what the win condition is for some of the levels that I can't figure out, but the absence of comments or ability to peek at the puzzlescript source means I end up never finding out.
Level 7 should be the last level, partly because it was the last one to fall for me but mostly because it's a deceptively impossible testament to the horrors of real-time puzzlescripters ;) (it may be input lag on osx, but yikes it was a pain!)
Phew, finally got the end! That was a lot of fun. There are a lot of cool puzzles in here and despite all the mechanics and potential interactions, all the levels feel conceptually watertight. Hope you find an ending!
Was this the intended solution for the level below? I feel like the connection between the conveyors on the left and the upward ones in the center had a more complex purpose.. I'll enter it down a bunch of lines so it's a bit more spoiler-hidden below the fold:
Lovely! Very pretty and made the three-dimensional aspect totally readable, which is often a big challenge in perspective-based puzzlescripters.
I wonder if there's some more variety to be found in the puzzle design, either mechanically (see Stephen J. Miller's Omelettes) or just further exploring the interactions of the elements you've already got (eg pushing blocks on two levels, stacking blocks, etc) but only because all the other elements are A+ :)
I can't get the web version to work on OSX and had to chmod the executable to get it to work, but after all that it was extremely laggy.
If it's not too much of a pain to fix the web version, I'd love to play! Though I totally understand if you've got more pressing things to do :)
The portals are such a smart addition to the block puzzle format, and I love the way that you keep escalating the complexity of the mechanic.
Also, I can't believe it's puzzlescript! It's the little engine that (received some cybernetic implants and) could :)
I think even if 16 ends up having unintended solutions, they'd be so complicated that they might as well be official!
I definitely prefer levels that are concept or insight driven, which force you into taking a step back to look at what the level is asking you to do and what interactions of mechanics that might involve. The last three are very much in that category, and force you away from the sort of fingertip aha moments that you get when you're just pottering around the level seeing what's what. Even so, it's always worth trying to avoid the harrowing effect (at least in linear puzzlescript games) where each level feels impossible, takes everything you have, and then the next one seems even harder :)
I think this is a foolproof way of beating each level
1) start with 55555
2) for - drop that number to 3 / for + increase it to 7
3a) If you now have -- for a number decrease to 1 / if you have ++, increase to 9
3b) Otherwise (ie if the cumulative result is -+ or +-) the number is between the digits you entered
4) Repeat until you have all the numbers
That was great :)
Anyone playing on OSX Big Sur should know that it does work. You just need to:
1) Put the .app file into Applications (otherwise it will eventually say 'Unable to find game!' after steps 2 and 3)
2) In Applications, Right Click on the .app and go to open, which will give you a message saying it can't open it because it can't be checked for malicious software. Just click OK.
3) Right Click and go to open again, which will give you the same message as before but this time with the option to Open. Click that and the game will launch, provided it's in the Applications folder.
The loss of your upgrades feels a bit punishing, and tends to make the hunting of chests more trouble than it's worth. I wonder whether refreshing health between floors, or having death lose one of your items could make the trade-offs a bit juicier.
I will of course lose everything when I attempt to ascend the final(?) stage of the tower to spikes and u-bends and infernal icicles but I guess that's to be expected ;)
I wonder if there's room to expand this further? At the moment, runs end too quickly for the idea of having a build to take root, and the fights are hard enough that you're better off resting, as two to three fights in a row will likely end your run no matter how lucky your rolls are.
Terry Cavanagh's Dicey Dungeons has some good ideas on that front, and not just because it's also about dice! He separates the dungeon into 5 or 6 floors, divides the enemies into difficulty buckets and randomly populates each floor with 2-3 enemies of a particular difficulty one of which is often optional if you don't mind missing out on a shop/item chest/healing item, and the floors get harder as you go. There's also a light levelling mechanic that grants a full heal on levelling up. These things combine to give a real sense of pushing your luck, and the difficulty curve / run length means you get to feel like you're working towards a particular build, depending on what fortune throws your way.
In terms of the fights themselves, I wonder if the weak core would be better off as something more strategic (perhaps even changing between enemies, to give more enemy variety) that can be activated by something less improbable, like a full house. You can still hold out the prospect of a big reward for a yahtzee, but maybe not link it to a core? It could also be strategically interesting to have a core that operates as a longer-term dice-sink, so you're choosing between putting short-term damage into the heart core, or building a long straight (or whatever) over multiple turns in the dice-sink core in order to, for example, increase your attack/block stat (which is a little under-utilised for your character) or heal or something more interesting.
I convinced myself that some metroidvania mechanics must be at play, judging by the impossibility factor that a lot of the stars seemed to possess. Turns out I was only half-wrong! I just had to properly equip my own brain with new concepts picked up the deeper I got into the game.
It's so hard to make that sort of thing work as frictionlessly as it does here. This is a phenomenally well-designed game.
I totally agree with @Ham. While the present incarnation would work well as an alternative mode, its pace actively works against its potential. One of the neat things about card game mechanics is that they let the player consider what the right move is from a constrained set of options, choosing the best path out of some mixture of strategy, assessing risk and pushing their luck. All of that takes time.
At the moment, none of the strategic elements have any breathing room, because you can barely play cards fast enough to out-run the lava, let alone consider what the best long-term strategy is beyond which card won't kill me. It also means that the devil cards, particularly the lava rush, become a sort of instadeath, as any loss of momentum kills your run.
If you do stick with the rapid fire version, and perhaps even if you don't, it might worth looking at how a sort of meta game might work, so that players are encouraged to push further to improve the odds of the next run. Things like buying cards for a starting deck, one-off perks, upgrades, etc
One smaller point is that the health mechanics are a bit over-present considering how small a part they play in a run, as there's only one sort of tile that damages the hull without instantly killing you. It could be interesting if the lava tiles were somewhat survivable in very small doses, as that would add another layer of trade-offs to pathing.
(PS: Now that I've finished the game, I noticed that the level select references bonuses, is there something special you have to do to reach these levels?)
I know you're not implementing undo and totally respect that. But for what it's worth, one reason undo makes puzzles more fun is that doing this accidentally is no big deal instead of making me want to give up for the day:
Loved this! I just wanted to warn you that if you get too many crocs in the vicinity of an egg, you can end up with some nasty croc-on-croc violence. I witnessed two crocs get cut in half due to their rabid egg-lust!
When in the lost woods, it doesn't seem to be possible to get to the [secret], as moving up *bonks* you to the bottom entry point regardless of where you do it from
Santa's work is never done!
Ah, I see you re-ordered the levels a bit. The one I found particularly hard now seems to have landed a bit later, when hopefully people are better equipped to handle it!
I'm really impressed with how many interactions you've managed to weave together for these puzzles, even if it makes them pretty intimidating at times!
Level 9 doesn't seem to have a generator, which might be a mechanic I don't understand? Also, is it intended that once you've charged a battery you can unplug it and use the wires elsewhere?
Fun game :)
This is great! A few small quality of life points:
1) Can you allow a key press to trigger your ability? I'm playing with a mac trackpad where right clicks are two finger taps that often results in me launching more balls instead of triggering the ability.
2) Could the yellow paddle's ability be a different shade of yellow with your paddle layered in front of it? At the moment, it's hard to judge where your paddle is when the ability is active.
3) Could the yellow ability give some indication of when it's going to disappear? I wasn't sure whether it was timed or tied to x number of bounces. This goes for the other abilities too, but it's most annoying with yellow and green.
4) The ability indicators could be more readable. I'd argue that they're more important to be within eyeballing range than the HP and could benefit from appearing closer to the play area (and perhaps being more visually distinct from the HP squares)