Wow quite an usual plant. Very nice!
Potatoes Are Not Explosive
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Hey, Potatoes Are Not Explosive here, (although my friends just called me NotExplosive). Just listened! I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for the feedback!
Just wanted to clarify something: new gems don't spawn on the board until the start of your next turn, so all of the gems that fall down during your turn were visible to you at the start of the turn. Which is to say, any errant matches you get are actually "your fault." However it's not your fault for not realizing that , the hardest part of designing a game like this is convincing the player of what they have control over.
Also tiny gripe: I don't think you gave our composer enough credit, the soundtrack is a bit more than just bleeps and bloops, in my opinion. Granted I don't make music so maybe I'm just easy to impress.
(Now I'm gonna write a short novel about what changed since the jam build, you don't need to read this whole next part on the podcast)
Here's a summary of things that were (not) in the original jam build:
- No free movement at the end of an encounter (you ALWAYS moved with the match 3 board)
- Every gem spawned with uniform randomness (which meant it was statistically likely that you'd have zero movement gems for multiple turns in a row). Now the next gem is determined based on how much you "need" it.
- (as you mentioned) No EXP bar, no leveling system, you had 3 action points flat.
- Gems didn't compound their effects, matching 6 gems did the same thing as matching 3. So matching more than three gems was wasteful.
- No "seeing into the future" with the top two rows.
- No level editor / boss fight / campaign. There was only an "endless" mode where every door led to a random room (even doors you had already gone through)
- Enemies were really dumb, most of them would move randomly, not even attempting to move towards the player.
- The board would refresh with new gems right at the end of your turn, which could (and often did) lead to additional matches you had no way of predicting or planning for.
There's probably some other stuff I'm forgetting but it's easy to imagine how this leads to a much worse experience. Most players would stagger there way out of the first room (maybe hobble over to the chest to get the free potion). Then they'd stumble into the first randomly determined room. Then they'd realize they're out of movement gems so they'd wait for enemies to come to them, which they don't do because they move randomly.
If you look at our submission page you see a lot of folks saying "cool idea but it's not very fun" which is totally fair given how the game was back then. I knew there was a good game buried in here somewhere, it just took me a month to dig it up.
Anyway, thanks for playing and talking about it (one of you played for over an hour, holy crap). I tend to post new games pretty often, especially since I'm stuck at home. If you're interested earlier this year I made a relaxing game with the same composer as this one.
I like this concept, it took me a bit to figure out what was going on but it was fun to figure out. Like part of the puzzle was figuring out how to play, I like that!
This is gonna sound weird but I had a hard time figuring out what order the movements were going to happen in. Like it's obviously top to bottom but my brain kept interpreting them backwards. Not really sure how to fix that-- or if it's even a problem in the first place and not just my stupid brain.
Maybe instead of arrows you could have a little grid with a tiny representation of the player on it and animate it to show the the movement the player is going to make? I don't know how elaborate the movements get so idk how feasible that is.
When I died some of the tiles got a little gray dot in the middle while others didn't and I never figured out what that meant.
The menus feel really slick and polished, but the one setting I was looking for was a native "fullscreen" (like without the taskbar etc).
Also one last nitpick: Screen shake is good for when you hit walls/die but a screen shake on every move feels a bit excessive.
Thanks so much for the feedback! Spacebar to end turn is a great idea. I'll add that ASAP.
I'm also pushing updates every 2-ish weeks so if you're interested in playing more we'll have a new version up in about a week and a half. The focus for next patch is to mitigate any output randomness (currently it's possible to get a match that you had no way of anticipating and that feels bad). I have what feels to me like a pretty elegant solution and I'm excited to see how people like it. :)
To go back to the main menu you need to click the back arrow and then click the words that say "go back" ... That's not great UI huh? I'll fix that.
Thanks for the note about exploration. I'll consider that for the next patch.
This is amazing and novel gameplay wise but it's kinda boring to look at. I get that it's got a minimalist thing going but I still think that some better presentation could really turn this great game into an incredible one!
I like the fact that shooting has consequences. I kind of wish the bullets stayed on screen forever, but maybe moved a little bit slower? That way every shot you fired would make the game that much harder. Maybe the bullets would get destroyed if they hit an enemy? Just a thought!
I also had a few instances where an enemy spawned right on top of me. I noticed in your post jam build you resolved this by giving indication of where an enemy is about to spawn, that's definitely one solution! The way I would have solved it is give the player a radius of "safety" (that's invisible to the player) and never let enemies spawn in that radius.
When I died the game would freeze frame on that moment, which is good-- it gives the player a clear sense of exactly what went wrong. There's an opportunity for some juice there, in that freeze frame the player could have an "ouch!" pose and maybe flicker and maybe a death sound could play.
I heard you say on Twitter that this was your first finished game. Great work! Keep it up!
Hiya. Thanks for playing. What size screen do you have? The placement of the columns is based on your window's width, I found a weird placement but for especially small windows and I chose not to worry about it because I didn't think it'd happen out ion the wild-- guess I was wrong!
Thanks for the feedback! I did have escape bound to "close the game" but then I added the "undo" feature and bound that to escape and unbound the close game button. I never got around to re-binding it since we were right up to the deadline.
This made me laugh out loud. I was genuinely giddy with excitement when I actually flew. The pixel art was a bit blurry on my (4K) screen and the text was very hard to read. Not sure if that's a screen size issue.
Thanks for the feedback! I like the idea of turning being a part of the match three because its more 'out of control' this way. Interesting idea regarding the action points though. I'll think about that.
Awesome game! Could you hit the checkbox for windows/mac/linux builds to indicate to itch which one is which? That way people can play these out of the itch desktop client. You should still be allowed to do that even during the judging period.
Really cool game-- although I have a nitpick regarding this itch page:
Do you mind lowering the brightness of your background colors on this page? Or maybe darkening the text? White on bright is kinda hard to read. Thanks!
It would be nice to have some visual feedback on how close something needs to be to be able to latch onto it. I also found (with my underslept-ass slow reaction time) that I was having a hard time clicking on things as they were passing by. However I could bypass this by Pause buffering (hey, thanks for adding a pause button :p!)
That being said, it would be neat if there were some kind of bullet time mechanic? It would make it easier to click on things for those less reflexively inclined.
On a similar note, it could also be nice to have visual feedback of an objects immediate trajectory. Normally I'd suggest a vapor trail but I think that would just make a vapor cloud (I guess that's just a "cloud" huh?). Maybe just for the player?
Neat idea! Would make a fun mobile game!
Yeah, it wasn't until literally an hour before submissions that we had levels that were actually strung together. I noticed that by the time you exit the first room you have basically zero movement tiles and though "well we have like 50 minutes left and I gotta upload this thing"
Thanks for playing!
The sounds at the beginning were a bit too.... crunchy. Also too loud.
The colors are well chosen and clearly convey what they need to but literally everything is glowing which ends up looking blurry. The camera is also at this weird dutch-angle which doesn't really feel like it adds anything beyond making the game more disorienting.
The concept is good, with a little refinement the gameplay could be great. The audio/visuals need some work.