Coda makes stuff!

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Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:50 am

I realized I'm starting to get a bit of a collection of mini-games up on my website that I've hacked up, so I thought maybe I should share them.
Same Game
Sudoku
Lights Out
Bagatelle (Windows)
Bagatelle (Mac)

The Javascript games are all tested in Safari (Same Game is also tested on PSP and Wii), so I don't make guarantees on compatibility with Firefox or Internet Explorer. (I'm a Mac user so testing in IE is a bit of a luxury for me...) Bagatelle currently doesn't have a Linux version because I had to implement some platform-specific hacks to make the sound work the way I wanted it to, but that's just a matter of time.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Volair » Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:37 pm

Same Game is cute!
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:03 am

Bagatelle there is the one I'm most interested in feedback on. It's the one I've put the most work into polishing up and the one I'm most interested in improving. The graphics are all my own creation (except the icon, which my wife Ginny made for me), I made the sounds based on some free sound effects I found online, and the physics is just Box2D. (Which reminds me, I need to add an "About Box2D" menu item.)
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Ashes » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:08 pm

Please explain these games or link to a website where they are explained. Please.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Thu Jul 30, 2009 2:35 pm

Certainly.

The Javascript games are all more or less "classics:"

The objective of Same Game is either to clear all of the tiles, or to get a high score. (The two objectives are orthogonal; sometimes getting the amazingly high scores puts you in a position where you might not be able to clear the board.) If you click on a group of two or more tiles of the same color (connecting horizontally and/or vertically), they disappear and gravity pulls the tiles above them down. Gravity also pulls to the left, if a column is completely empty.

Sudoku is, well, sudoku. Each row, column, and 3x3 block must contain the digits 1 through 9 exactly once each. The small grid of numbers beside each cell is just for taking notes; you can highlight or de-highlight as many of those as you want, just to help you keep mental track of what you're doing.

Lights Out is a puzzle. When you click on a check box, it and the four check boxes around it toggle. The goal is, as the name implies, to turn all of the checkboxes off. The additional goal is to try to do it in the number of moves specified or fewer. (I THINK the goal is always possible, but there could possibly be bugs in the counter.)

Bagatelle is more of an arcade-ish type of game. The objective is to clear all of the red pegs from the board. You can click to drop a ball or you can click and drag to launch it with some initial velocity. Striking a red peg turns it green and scores you 10 points times the number of red pegs struck with the ball. Striking a green peg scores you 1 point. If the ball gets stuck (that is, if it moves less than a certain distance for about a quarter second) causes all green pegs on the board to disappear to allow the ball to get unstuck. If the ball falls off the bottom of the screen, it is lost and all green pegs disappear. Clearing the board grants a bonus of 100 points times the number of balls you have remaining. In the ancient tradition of arcade games, the level then restarts and allows you to accumulate more points with a fresh set of balls. (Currently there's no difficulty scaling, so there comes a time when you're good enough that it's basically impossible to get a Game Over. I may change it so that you simply gain a single ball instead of resetting to 10.)
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Jennifer Diane Reitz » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:52 pm

Same Game is really nifty. I like it.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Plasman » Fri Jul 31, 2009 11:17 am

I'm using Firefox 3.5.1 and IE 6.0.
Same Game works on both ;] . Sudoku works on Firefox but not the IE (the grid doesn't load). Lights Out loads on both, but doesn't work properly in IE. I couldn't get the Windows link for the Bagatelle game to work properly for some reason... :depressed:

I got a score of 1784 for Same Game. Feel free to beat it, folks, but I cleared the entire table for a 1000 point bonus... :mrgreen:

Lights Out is tricky. I can't work that many moves ahead! :blush:

The Sudoku game works well, but it's really hard...
It took me a while to work out what the Difficulty variable did (it's the number of preset cells that are generated). It looks like it's randomly scattering numbers until it comes up with a workable grid. Only problem is, if you set that number too high - say, 20 - the game ends up looping uncontrollably until it comes up with a useful pattern - which might take a long time. Set it too low, and you end up with a grid that doesn't have enough numbers in it. :oops: I hate telling you stuff without suggesting a fix for it, but my programming skillz are lame... :(

These are really good, Coda! :mrgreen: Are you planning a whole arcade of them, or just playing around with Javascript? (Is JS hard to work with, btw? I'd like to learn...)
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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By the way I made two level packs for Boppin' in case anyone is interested... :oops:
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Alfador » Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:59 am

Plasman wrote:I got a score of 1784 for Same Game. Feel free to beat it, folks, but I cleared the entire table for a 1000 point bonus... :mrgreen:


I got 1900 plus some change, I forget... also winning.
Arf! *wagwagwag*
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:15 am

If the download links don't work, try again later. My server is a little flaky sometimes, but usually the links start working after a few minutes. (It's worth it overall -- the uptime is only around 95% but it's completely free AND doesn't have any ads.)

Could you please describe what you mean by Lights Out "not working right"?

I'll see what I can do about making Sudoku's generator a little more foolproof when I have some time to hack on it.

I don't have any specific PLANS to make any more; these were all toys that I hacked up when bored.

Javascript's not very hard at all, if you've got programming experience. Dealing with the DOM of a web page can be frustrating at times, and dealing with the differences in various browsers is REALLY a pain. (Making code work on the PSP is... *shudders*)

(Side note, I just got 3298 points on Same Game. It's not my highest score ever (just shy of 5000 if I remember right), but it should give you an idea of the possible scoring.)
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Plasman » Mon Aug 03, 2009 11:54 am

In IE, clicking on the switches (checkmarks, OK) doesn't always make the four surrounding ones toggle as well. I don't have a more recent version of IE though. It might just be the version I have.

I kinda figured my score on Same Game wasn't the best. :sweatbead:
I'll try to download and play Bagatelle ASAP.
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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By the way I made two level packs for Boppin' in case anyone is interested... :oops:
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Tychomonger » Mon Aug 03, 2009 3:19 pm

Same Game personal best: 3575

Edit: 4126
Hello!
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People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey... stuff.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Wic » Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:00 am

Bagatelle personal best: 27087

I have to admit I love billiards and developed a system for the game.
It's that my homunculus inside my head doesn't even try to understand the outside world. He thinks it's a video game and smashes the buttons at random to find the key where you shoot the lasers.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:10 am

Tell me about your system!

Anyone have any suggestions for improvements on anything?
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Plasman » Thu Aug 06, 2009 12:58 pm

I finally got Bagatelle to download and work! :kiss:

Is it anything like Peggle? I haven't played that game, but from what I've heard it's similar to what you have (and that's nothing against your game; there is a fine tradition of concept "sharing" in video games that goes way back).
This was fun! I kept playing it for a while, which means that it passes the Short Attention Span test! :roll:

Some suggestions, other than the obvious graphical/appearance refinement (which is only important toward the end of the development cycle anyway):
>> The ball's speed is too constant. If you draw a short line, the ball stays at a slow speed, and sort of "floats" through the arena. It's speed should increase over time.
>> It's possible to draw the line so that it's end point (ie. your mouse pointer) lies outside the window; if you do this, the ball still appears within the window but not on the line - rather it appears on the same level as the mouse pointer, yet it still moves on the same angle as the line you drew. (Does that make sense? Try it and you'll see what I mean.) Maybe you can limit the ghost-ball outline so that it doesn't leave the window even if the mouse pointer does?
>> The open-top level is kinda distracting - if the ball is knocked up through the top of the arena, it sometimes takes a long time to come back down. Having the ball disappear from play for so long is a bit strange. Then again, the alternative is to close the top and have it as another barrier to work against, which will change the gameplay considerably, so this is really up to you.
>> Are you able to include different types of pegs (some might give higher scores, increase the ball speed, move about, etc.)? You should keep the basic mode, either as a game option or as an early level, and introduce the other stuff later.
>> Can you put in a High Score table? Games like this just demand a means of recording best scores. ;] Also an in-game instruction screen might also help, but you could always just do a text-box pop up from the menu bar.

I hope that all makes sense, I really ought to be in bed by now. Oh, and my personal best was only about 5050 - nowhere near Wic's supreme effort. Guess I need to practice more. :sweatbead:
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
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By the way I made two level packs for Boppin' in case anyone is interested... :oops:
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:14 pm

Funny you should mention Peggle; it actually IS the inspiration for the game. :P

Please give more specific suggestions on the graphical improvements; darn it Jim, I'm a hacker, not an artist. ;)

The ball's speed DOES increase over the course of gameplay, both from gravity and from the slight kickback that striking a peg imparts. (They have a coefficient of elasticity greater than 1.) I may just increase the framerate to make the whole game run faster, or I may increase the force of gravity; "too floaty" is a comment I've gotten a lot. I may make a "debug" build that has these options configurable.

Constraining the ball to the window does indeed work as you described, but good idea on making the ghost ball follow the REAL launch point. It shouldn't be too hard to implement that.

I personally like the top of the level being open. Perhaps with the game sped up the "missing ball" will be less of an issue.

I've been pondering special-effect pegs (Peggle has them, you can pick one special effect and there are two green pegs added to the level that grant that effect, and at the beginning of each turn before you launch one blue peg turns purple and grants bonus points) and figured I would eventually implement them but I wanted to get the basic gameplay polished up well before that.

And yes, a high score table IS on my to-do list already. ;)

There's no difficulty scaling from level to level right now, so there comes a threshold at which you're good enough at the game that getting a "game over" requires screwing up; a friend of mine went to 100,000 points before deciding to stop because he didn't want to burn all day on it.

Opinion poll: Should the difficulty scale by adding more pegs, or by only granting one ball on stage clear instead of by resetting to 10? Or both?
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Wic » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:15 am

Coda wrote:Tell me about your system!


A fast horizontal ball at the very top of the area usually clears most of the pegs. The remaining can be cleared with a bit of skill. I once got it almost cleared with the first ball... Only two pegs remained.

31032 points.

Actually, I'd go with less pegs. When the pegs are more sparce, the game starts to be more skill and less luck. I noticed this when my "fast vertical balls" system failed.

Though, with this version might be good for a cellphone; the controls might be quite a bit harder on a cell.
It's that my homunculus inside my head doesn't even try to understand the outside world. He thinks it's a video game and smashes the buttons at random to find the key where you shoot the lasers.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Fri Aug 07, 2009 8:33 am

At 20 pegs you CAN'T fail. You can ALWAYS hit two pegs on a single ball.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Wic » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:01 am

Oh, I didn't count the pegs. Yeah, that sounds too easy now. Less balls then, I think.
It's that my homunculus inside my head doesn't even try to understand the outside world. He thinks it's a video game and smashes the buttons at random to find the key where you shoot the lasers.
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Plasman » Sat Aug 08, 2009 7:29 am

Unless of course you deliberately set yourself up to fail by shooting the ball straight down from the bottom. But that would be just silly.

Wic's system is clever in its simplicity (and it works)! You could always implement features that prevent this from working, though... like putting bumpers on some of the edges so that the ball bounces more randomly. Maybe.

The scarcity of pegs also makes for a good challenge. It's hard getting the angle right to strike those last two pegs. :doubtful: You could have less pegs in later levels to make it more challenging.

Other ideas: pegs that can't be destroyed (obstacles) or require more hits to remove from the board; pockets that give you bonus points or extra balls (okay, lifted from Peggle ;] ); and a Multiball option!

And regarding the graphical appearance... Fine tweaking the art is usually secondary to the mechanics of the game, so it's not majorly important right now.
But an idea is to use a style similar to the original Bagatelle games (ie. in the days before flippers and bumpers and TILT). I sourced the picture from here. You could have a backdrop of woodgrain, and have different patterns painted into the background for each level (stencil art, for example). Each "Pin" could also cast a shadow on to the background to make it look like the real thing.
If you use a really distinctive and contrasting colour scheme, it should stand out really well both on the Web and on a cellphone.

(I'm sure there are a few artistic sorts here who would love to offer other ideas re: graphics... :dwooh: )
If this last post seems ridiculous, please disregard it. Thank you. ;)
________
By the way I made two level packs for Boppin' in case anyone is interested... :oops:
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Re: Coda makes stuff!

Postby Coda » Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:16 pm

Well, I'm married to an artistic type. ;)
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