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Player Thoughts - Flappadiddle
Regular game reviewer RSKGames has sent his thoughts on this week's game.
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You can Play Flappadiddle here.
JNK has given a great tribute to the "Flap across" mini game from "Read Error A" in the
Flappadiddle game. As I have mentioned previously "Flap across" is my favorite mini game in the "Read Error A" game bundle.
Tribute?! OK, sure! But I'm not sure it's normal to call something a tribute after just 2 weeks of the original being created!!
Yeah, Flap Across was an unexpectedly fun game, and luckily this version turned out just as good.
Liked the flappadiddle title. It will be difficult for automatic game tile generator to pick such a title taking the game play into consideration.
This is, no doubt, in response to yesterday's blog post, where I mentioned that I'm creating an automatic title generator.
Worry not, my usual brand of odd naming will continue. The generator will just be there to give me ideas whenever I'm drawing a blank.
Games like Geartography only got their name after I'd spent ages juggling bits of words, trying to come up with a new title. This tool will, hopefully, give me a few prods in the right direction.
Don't think of it as an "End-of" tool.
The main feature of this game is the extremely smooth game play / game feel of the bird flying. The flying sound and the bird movement is synced up so well that you can feel the bird's flight. I liked diving down and flying up just in time to avoid the spikes or the red river below. The bird sprite animation looks very cute.
The game's first day or so was spent tweaking, tweaking, tweaking and tweaking!
The physics for the little bird were incredibly difficult to get to feel right, but I'm pretty confident they're doing well, now.
I did try to wrangle them into touch/mouse controls, but couldn't quite get those methods to work as well as the keyboard/joypad controls.
Also, the "thumbs in the way of the game" issue made things even harder!
The red lava river animation at the bottom of the screen looks good. The bricks image in the background gives normal mapped feeling.
Both very lazily done. The bottom lava/river is a simple bunch of rectangles moving over a sinewave.
The bricks are similarly lazily done, and all exist on a single 1024x1024 image.
How to draw/replicate the bricks.
1. Draw a single 64x32 (IIRC) brick.
2. Lighten the top and left sides.
3. Darken the bottom and right sides.
4. Tile the brick sprite over a 1024x1024 sheet.
5. Create a 32x32 image, full of nothing but "noise"
6. Scale up to 1024x1024, then overlay it onto the bricks, with "Multiply" blending.
Found the levels generated for each difficulty difficult settings to be very consistent. Level generation has done a great job to make sure that the platforms are located in accessible positions to the player.
For the most part ;)
There are still glitches, which I'm tempted to head back into the code to try and fix.
But otherwise, yes, it does seem to be doing a good job.
It helps that, once again, I've added a "mini-player" which plays the levels as they're generated, to check that the routes are vaguely (usually) possible.
The decision to give bonus points for accessing the platforms in quick succession has made the game quite fun and challenging. Generating the platforms only after accessing the existing platforms also is also a very good design decision, keeps the player guessing. Horizontal scrolling of the screen for each level is giving a sense of continuity. Lack of timer per level gives a good breather at the start of the level to tackle the levels with many rotating spikes.Sometimes when the first platform is in a very tight spot, getting only 5 points for that felt not fair.
The scoring was incredibly difficult to decide on, and there is, in fact, still a leftover of a lost scoring system in the game.
If you ever find yourself in a scenario where you can drop from one platform to the next, without a single flap, then you'll notice (maybe!) that you get two bursts of stars instead of just one!
I originally had the game with all platforms initially onscreen, and you trying to score combos in this style.
It was very hard!!
It didn't last long, and was replaced with the timer-based bonuses instead. But if you can find any, you'll get extra stars :D
The benchmark score you are keeping in the high score boards for the past 2 games is very challenging. For the last game easy level I had to play so many times to beat it. It seemed impossible.
Assume this is an example of how much I played the finished game!
Usually, by the time I get up to the final compiles, setting up the highscore tables and such, I've played more than enough of a game to then bother making decent highscores.
(Most of the gameplay development is done on the HTML5 version, which doesn't allow for online scores, and also has a habit of losing all progress, due to the cookie-based nature of the HTML5 save method.)
For this game, once the game was "finished", I was ready to play it to death! And that's exactly what I did, and why the leaderboard scores were set so high.
The more I played the less I was afraid of the rotating spikes. The moving bullet spikes took more life than other spikes. As the levels progress there is so little free space left that I didn't care for the bonus points if the platforms are not nearby.
Yeah, later on it becomes more a challenge to just stay alive.
I did think about other ways to do the scoring. Maybe pickups to add extra bonus time, or something. But then you're having to struggle to reach even more objects, and it seemed a little unfair.
Perhaps I should've increased the basic "No Bonus" scoring, depending on the level the player's on..?
The background music is very pleasant to hear. The repeating tune in that starts at 00:37 and 01:22 is melodious.
Not bad for an hour's work!
Some weeks the music is a struggle, but this week's Choon flowed amazingly well.
I'm not happy about the abrupt ending/loop though. This game lasts far longer than the Choon does!
Overall a great game that will be remembered for its smooth controls.
Now, if only I could transfer those lovely controls over to a touchscreen...