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#1 J Dan

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Posted 06 October 2003 - 06:54 PM

I've assembled the items in this list from my own experiences, and other members posts. This is mainly meant for annoyances you've experienced from games made with Game Maker. This is not a topic meant to bash other's games, but to point out how our GM games can be made better. Changing one or two things in your game could make the difference as to wether or not yours is a "good" game or a "great" game; or even between "mediocre" and "good".

GAME ANNOYANCE LIST
Game Design/Layout
  • Unnecessarily time-consuming tasks that should be simple (e.g. excessive distances between the bank and the shops).
  • Annoying health decreases.
  • Using different background music for everything (can make game slower or just be annoying).
  • Not enough background music variation (using the same song throughout the entire game can be annoying).
  • Weird glitches or bugs (Test, test, test, and then test your game some more).
  • First boss being harder than later or even the last boss.
  • Game rules that go against your intuition (random's example: "Cosgroves umbrella the jumping stones still kill you on the side").
  • Not being able to hide from or avoid boss attacks.
  • Impossible to beat bosses (Duh!).
  • High scores that only rely on getting a bonus and nothing else.
  • No title or menu screen, and starts right into the gameplay on startup.
  • Lack of an opening movie sequence.
  • Lack of an "attract mode". *
  • Multiple mini games that are poorly done, instead of one type of game that is done well.
  • Uses the default resources that come with Game Maker.
  • Not enough levels or is too short.
  • Ability to save the game too often (not annoying really but can take the challenge away from some games).
  • Inability to save the game at sensible check points (e.g. level completion, defeated boss etc.).
  • Lack of variable jumping in platformers (i.e. the longer you hold the jump button, the higher the player jumps).
  • Too much focus on graphics, and not enough on gameplay.
  • Lack of custom in-game dialog boxes (the show_message function can be annoying and unprofessional).
  • Inability to see what is ahead of you because of annoying HBor or VBor view settings (in platform games especially).
  • Lack of responce from user interaction (see Rithiur's post and J Dan's post).
User Friendliness (let users play your game the way they want to play it)
  • Not being able to toggle full-screen (if someone wants to run your game in full-screen give them the option; if they don't, let them turn it off).
  • Not being able to toggle background music and/or sound effects (can slow game down or just be annoying; and if the user turns it off, make sure it STAYS off throughout the WHOLE game).
  • Cinema/movie scenes that are too long and/or impossible to skip.
  • Almost anything that takes control away from the user for long amounts of time.
  • Lack of documentation (e.g. can't play a game if you don't know what the control's are).
  • Lack of a quick exit feature (let the user quit the game whenever they want to via one or two key combination exit).
  • One key exits (accidentally exiting a game without saving it is needless to say, very annoying).
  • No load/progress bar during the load screen (not as important if your game has a short load time).
  • No indication that a menu item is selectable when you hover over it with the mouse.
  • Game errors on you when running Game Maker in secure mode.
  • Unecessary installers or lack of appropriate installers.
  • Extra files, other than the one Game Maker compiled exe., that are needed to run the game.
  • Game text that scrolls too fast, or too slow, or is impossible to skip.
  • Lack of a Restart Level option.
Timing
  • Slow load times.
  • Slow run times (be careful about scaling).
  • Lock ups during game play.
  • Slow download caused by large file sizes.
  • Long download times; short gameplay times.
Game Controls
  • Controls that are spread out too far or are too cramped together. (CobraA1: "Try to use keys that require minimal hand movement, but the left hand and right hand should be a comfortable distance apart. ")
  • Using the Shift key (can open an unexpected Accessibility window on some computers).
  • Using the keypad (can cause problems for laptop users).
I hope this will really help upgrade the playability and quality of our games. Keep your annoyances coming. :)

* "The mode where you get demos of gameplay is called "attract mode", because arcade games use it to attract players during idle time." EricDB
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#2 Andy

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 10:22 PM

Games that are just about graphics and no gameplay can be annoiying. Although graphics are important, they are not everything.

Edited by Andy, 18 August 2006 - 02:17 AM.

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#3 jonnyhr

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 10:58 PM

you seem to have gotten it all down.. good work! I'm gonna copy this list as a guideline..

thanks
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#4 Sensei Eggwoah

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Posted 08 October 2003 - 11:08 PM

I know your list was for general things, but one the things that I hate most is a platform game without variable jumping and that allows you to hold jump and continue to jump after already jumping once (im not sure that made any sense. English is my first language so naturally I can't speak it...) Sometime Im going to write a tutorial on making a platform game that doesn't have these "glitches" in them.
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#5 J Dan

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 12:35 AM

Sensei Eggwoah, that's a really good one, and one that particularly annoys me too; especially since I'm a big platform game fan. I don't know why I didn't put that one up before. Thanks. :)

I know your list was for general things

Actually it is for specific things also. I don't want too general annoyances, such as "Games that are not fun are annoying". So your post was very appropriate.


jonnyhr: you seem to have gotten it all down.. good work! I'm gonna copy this list as a guideline..

Well I wouldn't say all. I keep adding to it as I play different games and come across more things that annoy me. And I'm glad to know I helped at least one person improve their game. :D

And thanks for your post Andy. B)

Edited by J Dan, 09 October 2003 - 12:36 AM.

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#6 Sensei Eggwoah

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Posted 09 October 2003 - 02:38 AM

Sensei Eggwoah, that's a really good one, and one that particularly annoys me too; especially since I'm a big platform game fan. I don't know why I didn't put that one up before. Thanks. 


Glad I could help :)
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#7 thepenguinking

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 08:56 AM

What I really hate, and basically everyone does it, is non original games or remakes eg. Mario and sonic have been done to death! Im sorry if this offends everyone, but i cant hold it in anymore.
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#8 Sensei Eggwoah

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 08:19 PM

Mario and Sonic games probably could be good, but re-creating the gameplay and replay value through new original ideas is something that many games don't execute very well. More often than not, what is supposed to be a sonic game uses the exact physics straight from the platform example. If you use someone's code, I think that you should tweak the code to fit your needs and not just copy the pysics of someone else's code. I have the opinion that if your going to make a Mario or Sonic game, you really have to put the emphasis on gameplay and originality. This requires alot of planning to make a good game, and this is not a easy thing to pull off.
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#9 Rithiur

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Posted 10 October 2003 - 10:38 PM

There are a lot of common errors you see in GM games, and which I have also done (and been to lazy to ever fix them). Here are also couple things I find annoying about GM games:

No ingame dialogs - Many games seem to use show_message() feature to show different kinds of ingame messages like dialogs. I find this incredibly annoying, because they tend to popup from the game and really don't fit in.

Blind walking - You need to be able to see what is ahead. Sometimes in GM platform games, you can't even see where the next platform is, and you are suposed to jump there. Unfortunately, this isn't just common error in GM platform games.

Lack of user feedback - To make an user friendly game, you have to have something called user feedback. Many GM games lack this, and usually this is just what seperates professional games from GM made ones. The list already said that buttons that don't say you can push them. This is just part of the user feedback. If the user can do something, you have to tell them that they really can do it, like hilighting the options or something like that. Sometimes it seems that game makers think that we know everything that can be done in the game.
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#10 J Dan

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Posted 11 October 2003 - 05:37 AM

thepenguinking: What I really hate, and basically everyone does it, is non original games or remakes eg. Mario and sonic have been done to death! Im sorry if this offends everyone, but i cant hold it in anymore.

I don't really mind the fact that they aren't original. The real problem with most Mario and Sonic games is that they are not programmed very well; mostly they are done by newbies (although there are some Sonic games coming out that seem to be breaking that trend).

And Rithiur, those are some really good points. I completely understand and have experienced everyone of them myself. The show_message() feature looks terrible, blind walking is hazardous to your player's health, and lack of user feedback is very interesting.

Too often I find myself pushing nearly every key on the keyboard trying to find the correct one to perform a certain action. And the lack of highlighting a menu option really gives question as to whether or not it's even active (it's also in the list).

If the user can do something, you have to tell them that they really can do it, like hilighting the options or something like that. Sometimes it seems that game makers think that we know everything that can be done in the game.

That's a really good way of putting it. And I also think, like you said, that knowing what button to press or highlighting a menu item that is selected "is just part of the user feedback." There's probably a whole science behind user interaction and game response. Take a Mario game for example. When you press the jump button three things take place.

1. Mario jumps. He moves upward.
2. A jumping sprite is shown.
3. A sound effect is played.

The first is the most important, because that's the basic part of gameplay that's actually happening; Mario moves upward and then back down enabling him to jump over pits, defeat enemies, collect coins etc. Actions 2 and 3 only highlight the jumping action. But they're still important. Think of Mario jumping without the second and third actions taking place. Pretty bland. But you can still play and beat the game. Now think of pressing the jump button, but the first action does not take place and the second and third actions do. You can clearly see how that would completely destroy the gameplay. Action 1 has to happen when you press the jump button. There's no way around it. Actions 2 and 3, although not essential, are important to satisfying the user.

I think sound effects play a big role in user feedback and seems too underutilized. A simple sound effect can go a long way in letting the user know if what their doing is correct (or incorrect). An excellant example of this is in the Zelda games. Nintendo has that classic jingle that's played in the dungeons whenever you solve a puzzle. Whenever I hear it, it automatically makes me think that I've unlocked something or made a treasure chest appear. It also helps keep me on track in a dungeon, so I know I'm going the right way and aren't lost.

So there's three things that can give a user satisfying and appropriate feedback in a game:

1. The action itself is performed.
2. An image(s) is shown indicating the actions performance (this includes text).
3. A sound(s) is played indicating the actions performance.

And then there's the issue of knowing WHAT the actions are in the first place. A simple help file explaining what the controls are (and what they do) can really cut back on a lot of hassle. More detailed things, such as what certain items do or any control changes that occur (i.e. when you jump in water the jump button no longer jumps, but makes the player swim) are also needed. And an in-game help screen (e.g. a menu item that says "Help" or "Instructions") is more professional. Ocarina of Time implemented a good system of letting the user know what they could do by displaying the buttons in the upper-right area of the screen along with simple text describing what they did (e.g. Grab, Attack, Drop etc.).

So let the user know WHAT they can do. And let them know, once they've done it, if they've done it correctly or incorrectly.

Edited by J Dan, 11 October 2003 - 05:43 AM.

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#11 Ben_Briggs

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 12:06 PM

GRIPES ABOUT YOUR GAME ANNOYANCES LIST

Using different background music for everything (can make game slower or just be annoying).
It is pointless having the same music throughout. That would be annoying. Midi files aren't even that big!

Lack of an opening movie sequence.
Hard to do. Especially if it is a good one!

Lack of an "attract mode".
Using more resources.. pointless!

Lack of variable jumping in platformers (i.e. the longer you hold the jump button, the higher the player jumps).
That depends on the platformer. If you can make all the jumps, why are you complaining?

User Friendliness (let users play your game the way they want to play it)
Would end up in you using too many resources.

Extra files, other than the one Game Maker compiled exe., that are needed to run the game.
Nothing wrong with that.

Slow download caused by large file sizes.
Long download times; short gameplay times.

These are both due to webhosting, not the GM game.

Just wanted to correct your list a bit. :wistle
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#12 CobraA1

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 01:59 PM

Try editing instead of double-posting :medieval: .

Lack of an opening movie sequence.
Hard to do. Especially if it is a good one!


He's got a point there . . .

But games at least should go to a title screen before entering the game itself.

Lack of an "attract mode".


I really don't see an "attract mode" as being important - it's just frosting on the cake. Focus on the game.

Extra files, other than the one Game Maker compiled exe., that are needed to run the game.
Nothing wrong with that.


I agree. You can even use something called an "installer" and the user won't even care if you've got more files.

Executables w/no install are unprofessional - we've got to get rid of this "no installers" attitude if we want gamemaker games to get a better reputation.

User Friendliness (let users play your game the way they want to play it)
Would end up in you using too many resources.


I disagree with this. If a user doesn't like a game because it's difficult to play, they won't play your game.

Ability to save the game too often.


I want to be able to save the game whenever I want. If I have to return to real life for some reason, I don't want to lose all of that time I spent to get somewhere. No such thing as "too often."
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#13 J Dan

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Posted 13 October 2003 - 10:25 PM

Woah! Settle down peoples. This list is just here as a reference guide to help people improve their games.


I'll attempt to answer Ben_Briggs "gripes" (nice touch) :P about my list first. :medieval:

[quote]Using different background music for everything (can make game slower or just be annoying).
It is pointless having the same music throughout. That would be annoying. Midi files aren't even that big![/quote]
Read the post carefully and think about it. It says "Using different background music for everything." It doesn't say you should use just one midi for the entire game. And some simple games don't need more than one song. But that is a good point you bring up. I have played games that don't have enough variation in their background music selection and have yet to play one that has too much (And it wasn't even my idea in the first place; someone else mentioned it so I added it.) So I'll add: Not enough background music variation (using the same song throughout the entire game can be annoying)

[quote]Lack of an opening movie sequence.
Hard to do. Especially if it is a good one![/quote]
This topic has absolutely nothing to do with the difficulty of programming something in Game Maker; only things that are annoying to players of Game Maker games. And besides, just because something is hard for you to do doesn't mean there aren't others who can do it easily (just look in the Q&A forum on EZboard). :lol:

[quote]Lack of an "attract mode".
Using more resources.. pointless![/quote]
I don't quite understand. Do you mean it makes the game run slower by clogging up memory? Or makes the file size too large? What? I just think an attract mode is a nice touch (And again, someone else brought it up and I added it).

[quote]Lack of variable jumping in platformers (i.e. the longer you hold the jump button, the higher the player jumps).
That depends on the platformer. If you can make all the jumps, why are you complaining?[/quote]
Whose complaining? Are talking to yourself? :P
I find it very annoying and unprofessional when a platform lacks variable jumping. And I know I'm not the only one.

[quote]User Friendliness (let users play your game the way they want to play it)
Would end up in you using too many resources.[/quote]
Again, I don't understand. This doesn't make any sense to me. What you quoted is just the heading to the user friendliness section. Maybe you could be more specific.

[quote]Extra files, other than the one Game Maker compiled exe., that are needed to run the game.
Nothing wrong with that.[/quote]
Who said anything about it being wong? I find it to be annoying, which is what this list is about.

[quote]Slow download caused by large file sizes.
Long download times; short gameplay times.

These are both due to webhosting, not the GM game.[/quote]

Not necessarily. Read it again carefully.
"Slow download caused by large files sizes."

The file size has everything to do with the GM game.

And about the next one, someone else pointed out to me they really hate wasting a lot of time downloading a game only to play something really short. If a game's going to be a long download, I want to get more out of it. And your right (partially). Downloading a file has at least two factors involved. Internet traffic and the file size. The GM developer has control over the file size.

Just wanted to correct your correction list a bit. :wistle :D


Now to CobraA1's post. :rolleyes:

[quote]He's got a point there . . .[/quote]
I don't believe he does.

[quote]But games at least should go to a title screen before entering the game itself.[/quote]
Exactly why it's in the list.

[quote]I really don't see an "attract mode" as being important - it's just frosting on the cake. Focus on the game.[/quote]
Exactly what I said. But the lack of one can be annoying to some people.

[quote]I agree. You can even use something called an "installer" and the user won't even care if you've got more files.

Executables w/no install are unprofessional - we've got to get rid of this "no installers" attitude if we want gamemaker games to get a better reputation.[/quote]
I'm not going to touch this with a 10 foot pole. We've already had the installer debate before. But just one thing. I really think the quality of GM games is a much bigger factor than whether or not it has an installer. And I did add this item to the list: "Unecessary installers or lack of appropriate installers."

[quote]I want to be able to save the game whenever I want. If I have to return to real life for some reason, I don't want to lose all of that time I spent to get somewhere. No such thing as "too often."[/quote]
But that can make the game too easy. I believe there is such a thing as too often (and so did another person who mentioned it to me). And the next item on the list is: "Inability to save the game at sensible check points (e.g. level completion, defeated boss etc.)." But I guess it really depends on the game and the user.

Thanks for all of your advice. I'm glad my list gets so much attention. :D
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#14 Ben_Briggs

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Posted 14 October 2003 - 09:17 AM

Sorry if I offended you with that double post. I haven't quite got the color change thing sorted yet. Besides, post counts don't apply on the board anyway. Thats not the point. Anyway.. to explain myself a bit more..

This topic has absolutely nothing to do with the difficulty of programming something in Game Maker; only things that are annoying to players of Game Maker games. And besides, just because something is hard for you to do doesn't mean there aren't others who can do it easily (just look in the Q&A forum on EZboard).


A good opening movie does not affect the quality of the gameplay. For most people, this is hard to do.. I'm just generalising this. It is difficult, not impossible. The lack of movies in games probably is because they take up too many resources in the game, causing slow loading/downloading times. :lol:

Or makes the file size too large? What? I just think an attract mode is a nice touch (And again, someone else brought it up and I added it).


Nice touch maybe, but not essential. That also increases file size.. :D

Lack of variable jumping in platformers (i.e. the longer you hold the jump button, the higher the player jumps).
That depends on the platformer. If you can make all the jumps, why are you complaining?
Whose complaining? Are talking to yourself? 
I find it very annoying and unprofessional when a platform lacks variable jumping. And I know I'm not the only one.


If you can make all the jumps without variable jumping, then why do you need it?

Nothing wrong with that.
Who said anything about it being wong? I find it to be annoying, which is what this list is about.


There is nothing annoying about extra files! Yeh, they do take up a little more disk space BUT you're going to delete the game afterwards anyway.. :medieval:

Sorry again about the double post! :rolleyes:
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#15 J Dan

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 03:42 AM

A good opening movie does not affect the quality of the gameplay.

In a way it can. I guess it has more to do with presentation than gameplay. A good opening movie can really get the player excited about playing the game, and can really pull them into the story.

For most people, this is hard to do.. I'm just generalising this. It is difficult, not impossible.

Although I've never made one, I believe they're easier to make than most people think.

The lack of movies in games probably is because they take up too many resources in the game, causing slow loading/downloading times.

I really don't think they make the game that much bigger. What, just an extra room with some extra code? It can't increase the file size by that much can it? I guess it really depends on the how the programmer does the opening sequence. But I can see how one could be done without adding much at all to the file size. And of course it's probably a good idea throw it out if it seriously slows downloading/loading times.

Nice touch maybe, but not essential. That also increases file size..

Of course not essential. But by how much does it really increase the file size? Again I can see how one could be done without adding much at all to the file size.

If you can make all the jumps without variable jumping, then why do you need it?

Because it's really annoying and unprofessional without it. That's what this list is about; to point out little annoyances like that, and other things that people can do to improve the quality and enjoyability of their games. For example, take what you said about background music:

It is pointless having the same music throughout. That would be annoying. Midi files aren't even that big!

But if you can play through the whole game listening to just one song, than why do you need more? Do you get my point? If you stripped every platform game down to only the things it really "needs" then all platform games would be black blocks jumping around. For a game to be good there has to be a balance between file size and content; special effects and framerate; load times and presentation etc. etc. If you think file size is most important, you'll have to sacrifice on content. If you think content is most important, you'll have to sacrifice on file size. Programming a game is a balancing act that requires the programmer to make certain sacrifices.

(My opinion is in green. I'm not stating it as fact, just as how I see things.)

But to answer your question more specifically, variable jumping gives me more control over the character. It makes it feel more natural for me. It makes me feel more like I'm controlling the game and not being controlled by the game. Ask anyone who knows what variable jumping is and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they felt the same way.

There is nothing annoying about extra files! Yeh, they do take up a little more disk space BUT you're going to delete the game afterwards anyway..

Maybe that's why people delete them. :P

Okay seriously now. You just stated your opinion as fact. :huh:
"There is nothing annoying about extra files!" (what's up with all the exclamation marks throughout your posts?). Correction. There is nothing that annoys YOU about extra files. They do annoy me. The disk space doesn't matter to me (unless the files are really big), and not all people delete all GM games after downloading them, myself included.

Sorry again about the double post!

Hey, it's all good. B)
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#16 CobraA1

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 01:04 PM

You said about saving games too often:

But that can make the game too easy.


So? See Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie! II. Like Ernest Adams, I also take the side of the player. Getting back to Real Life shouldn't lose me precious time spent to get somewhere in the game :huh:.
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#17 J Dan

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Posted 15 October 2003 - 05:31 PM

That is an excellant point there. But I really don't think anyone can just throw out a blanket statement and say "infinite saves are good" or "infinite saves are bad." I did say this which you didn't quote:

But I guess it really depends on the game and the user.

I think an appropriate save system is an issue that the developer needs to uniquely mold to fit the specific gameplay needs of their game. And I'm sure huge theories can be developed and large discussions and debates can be had on the subject of save systems, and what techniques are best for this type of game or that type of game. But I'm not going to go into that now.

The purpose of this list was just point out different annoyances that could keep your game from being enjoyable. Of course not everything on the list is 100 percent accurate. And many items, heck, all the items are just opinions. With some items, most people agree that they are annoying. And others that are split down the middle, with opinions on one side and opinions on the other. This list wasn't meant for the purpose of looking through it and applying everything in it to every game. The game developer should look through it and see what items they can apply to make their unique game better. The list items are just generalizations of things that could make or break your game; or just give it that extra little oomph it needs to be a great game.

But the topic of appropriate save systems is an intriguing one that I think should be further discussed, perhaps more fittingly in another topic where more people will notice it and opine on the subject. It's a hard issue to tackle indeed ...

Edited by J Dan, 15 October 2003 - 05:35 PM.

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#18 Guest_cfec_*

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Posted 21 October 2003 - 07:47 PM

I'll take my game as an exemple. I would like to get feedback to improve it. And be brutal, I have no game design sensibility :)

It's a puzzle and trivia game on the Seinfeld TV-show

Seinline

[quote]No ingame dialogs - Many games seem to use show_message() feature to show different kinds of ingame messages like dialogs. I find this incredibly annoying, because they tend to popup from the game and really don't fit in.[/quote]

I've had this problem for my game. I plan to get rid of them in the next version. I worked a lot on making them less annoying.

[quote]Using different background music for everything [/quote]

Actually, getting new music is *the* reward in my game and there is only one room.

[quote]High scores that only rely on getting a bonus and nothing else.[/quote]

That's one thing I would really like feedback on. In my game, you get points only if you answer the trivia, not for playing the Columns part of the game. It seems right to me, but...

[quote]No title or menu screen, and starts right into the gameplay on startup[/quote]

I don't agree. My game is simple and it doesn't need a menu. I feel I want to play as fast as possible when I run the program, and a menu would just be annoying. Instead, you can just press F1 and all the options and features of the game are listed in the game information window.

[quote]Not enough levels or is too short.
Ability to save the game too often.
Inability to save the game at sensible check points[/quote]

I made a point of coding a game that is as short as possible. So you don't have to save it and people don't get bored. I think (I didn't test it) it lasts about 5 to 10 minutes.

[quote]Too much focus on graphics, and not enough on gameplay[/quote]

I think that's exactly the opposite for my game. But then again I had no feedback so far. I don't like my graphics and I stink with graphics anyway. So I focused on music and gameplay. For instance, I spent A LOT of time tweaking the control of the fallling heads with alarm events. I think my falling stack is easier and more pleasant to control than any other remake of Columns I've tried before starting to code my game.

[quote]Lack of responce from user interaction [/quote]

I've worked a lot on that too. I think you can play the game without reading the help file at all. Of course you miss a lot of extra features, but still, you can figure out very fast how to play it.

[quote]Not being able to toggle full-screen [/quote]

I had to give up that option cause I've found out that you can freeze the game by moving the window without releasing the left-button. Then you have all the time to think where to place the falling heads, which I don't want the player to be able to do. So the game runs only in full-screen mode now. Otherwise, I would have kept this option.

[quote]Not being able to toggle background music and/or sound effects [/quote]

Totally agree and that's one of the first thing I coded with the more obvious keys: M for music and S for sound effects.

[quote]Unecessary installers or lack of appropriate installers[/quote]

I hesitated a long time before deciding to go with just a winzip self-extracting archive. Again feedback would be much appreciated whether or not I made the good choice.

[quote]Extra files, other than the one Game Maker compiled exe[/quote]

I had no choice. I wanted to save the song (so players don't always start with the same one) but I wanted the game to first start with the same music for everyone(Superman) Also, I needed to release the game before the database is completed. It's very long to make the database, and the fact that people are already playing the game motivates me to finish the database.

[quote]Timing
Slow load times.
Slow run times (be careful about scaling).
Lock ups during game play.
Slow download caused by large file sizes.
Long download times; short gameplay times.[/quote]

That's the most important thing to me (and controls). I think my game is perfect for timing.

[quote]Using the Shift key (can open an unexpected Accessibility window on some computers).[/quote]

I don't get this one. I used the shift key a lot for my controls. What's an unexpected Accessibility window? The shortkeys for shortcuts used ctrl+alt, what uses shift?

cfec

Edited by cfec, 21 October 2003 - 07:51 PM.


#19 YoMamasMama

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 01:02 AM

personally, I don't mind show_message() if the player uses GML to dress them up nice with a better sprite and font, but they do annoy when they just use the drag and drop show message and dont change the sprites.
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#20 CobraA1

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 03:42 AM

I hesitated a long time before deciding to go with just a winzip self-extracting archive. Again feedback would be much appreciated whether or not I made the good choice.


From what I'm hearing, your game is as simple as my first one. For a small game like that, a self-extractor is fine. Mind you, self-extractors don't normally come with uninstallers, but if your game can be deleted by just deleting the directory, you don't need one.

I don't get this one. I used the shift key a lot for my controls. What's an unexpected Accessibility window? The shortkeys for shortcuts used ctrl+alt, what uses shift?


This is a windows annoyance - if you have Windows 2000/XP:

-Go to control panel -> accessibility
-Under StickyKeys, go to settings, and turn "Use shortcut" on.
-OK -> Apply
-Press one of the shift keys like mad.

The computer will beep, and will display a popup - this defaults to on on many Windows installations, and it can mess up your game. Not everybody knows how to turn it off, unfortunately :).

To turn off, go back to settings and uncheck the "Use shortcut" checkbox.
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#21 Guest_cfec_*

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Posted 22 October 2003 - 09:14 AM

This is a windows annoyance - if you have Windows 2000/XP:

-Go to control panel -> accessibility
-Under StickyKeys, go to settings, and turn "Use shortcut" on.
-OK -> Apply
-Press one of the shift keys like mad.

The computer will beep, and will display a popup - this defaults to on on many Windows installations, and it can mess up your game. Not everybody knows how to turn it off, unfortunately .

To turn off, go back to settings and uncheck the "Use shortcut" checkbox.


Thanks a lot. I'll just change shift for ctrl or alt. There's no bug in XP with either ctrl or alt, right? (I use win98...) I noticed that Winamp uses very few shortcut keys with shift... The functions in my game that use shift only have to be pressed once though.

personally, I don't mind show_message() if the player uses GML to dress them up nice with a better sprite and font, but they do annoy when they just use the drag and drop show message and dont change the sprites.


I changed the background and positioned the message exactly over the main logo which is of the same width as the pop-up. And the biggest pop-up message doesn't have a bigger height than the main logo. I also added a function to set the position of pop-up messages at current mouse position by pressing [A], in case people want it somewhere else.

I don't remember if it was in 4.3c or 5.0, but changing the sprite for buttons was quite buggy. Is it fixed in 5.1? Because of this bug, I kept a backgroud sprite's color that goes with the default button's color. I'll check again to see if changing the button's sprite is less buggy in 5.1.....

#22 random

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 03:29 AM

Im honored that you quoted me, but the grammar wasn't correct, whoops.

One more thing: Lack of a restart button when it is possible to get stuck with no way of dieing (or dieing requires you to sit there for 15 minutes while your health deteriorates)

Saving a lot isn't annoying, it just makes your games way too easy. (I did that on some editables because it was way too hard)

I will quote some people, as soon as I figure out how to quote.... :)
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#23 CobraA1

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 06:49 AM

Is it just me, or was this copied over from EZBoard ;)?

No load/progress bar during the load screen (people want to know how long it will take your game to load).


If the loading time is under 2 seconds, I'll let it slide - but if it takes a long time, yes, it's annoying.

As far as the saved game issue goes, I'll just say I side with the user on that one - I really don't see being "too easy" as being a problem unless the game is multiplayer.

Lack of a restart button when it is possible to get stuck with no way of dieing (or dieing requires you to sit there for 15 minutes while your health deteriorates)


Or better yet, don't allow the player to get stuck in the first place.

Care should be taken to prevent deadlock situations in games. Either avoid the deadlock conditions in the first place, or allow a way out.

RTS games, for example, allow selling back buildings, in case the player has insufficient resouces, but needs to build the unit/building required to collect the resources.

First boss being harder than later or even the last boss.


Been there. Seen that. Hate it. The game should very, very easy, but should get harder as the game progresses. Usually, the first level of the game should be an introduction, and shouldn't kill the player. You can kill the player in the second level :P.

Controls that are spread out too far.


ADD: Controls that are too close together - also can be annoying. Try to use keys that require minimal hand movement, but the left hand and right hand should be a comfortable distance apart.
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#24 J Dan

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 07:39 AM

Is it just me, or was this copied over from EZBoard?

It's just you. :wistle :P

Man am I far behind replying to this topic. So I won't attempt to reply to everything at this time.

CobraA1, you make some excellant points.

If the loading time is under 2 seconds, I'll let it slide - but if it takes a long time, yes, it's annoying.

So true.

As far as the saved game issue goes, I'll just say I side with the user on that one - I really don't see being "too easy" as being a problem unless the game is multiplayer.

Like I said in that earlier post, it's a hard issue to tackle to find the right balance. But yeah. I don't think I've ever played a game that annoyed me becaused I could save too often.

Or better yet, don't allow the player to get stuck in the first place.

Care should be taken to prevent deadlock situations in games. Either avoid the deadlock conditions in the first place, or allow a way out.

RTS games, for example, allow selling back buildings, in case the player has insufficient resouces, but needs to build the unit/building required to collect the resources.

Couldn't agree more. I was playing Little Bob the other day, and I got stuck in a platform near the end of the game so I had to restart back at level one because that game has no saves. ;)
But I did eventually beat it. :P

But having a Restart Level option, like on the pause screen isn't a bad idea. But again it depends on the type of game.

Been there. Seen that. Hate it. The game should very, very easy, but should get harder as the game progresses. Usually, the first level of the game should be an introduction, and shouldn't kill the player. You can kill the player in the second level.

Yeah, I think that the first level or area of any game should be childishly easy. Mainly just for the purpose of familarizing yourself with the game.

ADD: Controls that are too close together - also can be annoying. Try to use keys that require minimal hand movement, but the left hand and right hand should be a comfortable distance apart.

Excellant suggestion. Having keys that are cramped together is also a killer.

random, not really an honor. It was your suggestion in the first place and I just used your example to help explain it. :D
If you want to revise it I'll be glad to oblige.

I will quote some people, as soon as I figure out how to quote....

You can just use the QUOTE button when your adding or editing a post. Or you can type whatever you want to quote in between the quote tages:
[QUOTE]Put whatever you want to quote here[/QUOTE]

And now ...

LIST UPDATES (updates appear in red):

No load/progress bar during the load screen (not as important if your game has a short load time).

Controls that are spread out too far or are too cramped together. (CobraA1: "Try to use keys that require minimal hand movement, but the left hand and right hand should be a comfortable distance apart. ")

Lack of a Restart Level option.

Ability to save the game too often (not annoying really but can take the challenge away from some games).
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#25 random

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 10:15 PM

oh yeah sure. I just got messed up by the quote button at the corner of every post.

this has never been quoted!  :ph34r:


lack of variety killed sokoban! (for me anyway) :rambo :D :rambo :medieval:
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#26 J Dan

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Posted 28 October 2003 - 10:50 PM

What is sokoban? :D
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#27 CobraA1

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 01:06 AM

Another couple of annoyances from a game called "Phoenix: Platinum edition" for the TI-89 calculator, but it can apply to Game Maker games as well:

This is one of the most difficult games I've played, and as far as I can tell, there only seems one way to really beat it:

One feature of "Platinum Edition" is the ability to buy upgrades at a store. This is OK, this is cool.

Unfortunately, the game gets very difficult very quickly, with an unpredictable cashflow (You collect falling $'s to get money). This leads to a couple of problems:

-You simply cannot buy more shields or get any of the intermediate weapons and expect to win the game. You won't be able to afford the more powerful weapons later on if you do. You have to go straight for an expensive, but powerful weapon and let your weakening shields get weaker.

-When I do manage to win a game, I probably collect $2000-2500 during the entire game. There are four weapons that cost at least $2000 - the most expensive being $4000! I really can't afford it until I replay the game after beating it once (the game restarts after it is beat).

-Income flow is completely random, and fluctuates way too much - if the enemies don't drop enough cash in the first two levels, you might as well restart.

-Even the bosses often don't drop anything after being destroyed.

So, to summarize the problems:
-Don't have false choices - in order to actually win phoenix, I really don't have any choices at the store. Big weapon or bust.

-Income should come at a fairly regular pace - some random fluctuations are to be expected, but a player shouldn't lose the game just because of bad luck.

-Prices should be reasonable. Not too cheap, but never so expensive you can never buy it.

-The drops for bosses should be guarunteed, IMHO, not random.
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#28 random

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:08 AM

you have to be careful with "luck" in your games. Whether a player can achieve a goal should not depend on bad luck. But neither should it depend on good luck


wow. ima little miser in baulder's gate II, and now i can save up and buy ANYTHING I WANTED from the shop... but what do you know? the weapons I picked up in the dungeons were better.... :D :medieval:

What is sokoban?  :huh:

that was a little block pushing game that you had to push blocks onto buttons to win.

The drops for bosses should be guarunteed, IMHO, not random

:P I wouldn't want to be dropped from a boss

Edited by random, 29 October 2003 - 03:10 AM.

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#29 MatrixQuare

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 03:14 AM

Although I've never made one, I believe they're easier to make than most people think.

Actually no, intro movies are fairly hard to make even if their crappy quality. Since there are basically only 2 ways to do them:
1: Make them out of 3D (so it's basically a FMV scene).
2: Draw... yes.. the old fashioned drawing technique
There is number 3... but I'm quite sure that it won't be used much for games: Filming and actual scene with a video camera or camcorder.

I really don't think they make the game that much bigger. What, just an extra room with some extra code? It can't increase the file size by that much can it? I guess it really depends on the how the programmer does the opening sequence. But I can see how one could be done without adding much at all to the file size. And of course it's probably a good idea throw it out if it seriously slows downloading/loading times.

Well, "idle demo" are basically only for games that are arcade style or involves you doing the same thing. I'm sure this kind of technique would NOT work for other game genre like RPGs, etc.

But to answer your question more specifically, variable jumping gives me more control over the character. It makes it feel more natural for me. It makes me feel more like I'm controlling the game and not being controlled by the game. Ask anyone who knows what variable jumping is and I wouldn't be at all surprised if they felt the same way.

Yes, variable jumping adds to the realism by ALOT.

I don't get this one. I used the shift key a lot for my controls. What's an unexpected Accessibility window?

This feature is only in 2K and XP

And about the "show_message()" issue... I get to get away with it since my game is in the "internet" and the only way to show things are from pop up messages (you people who uses internet browsers should know what I mean). But for anything else, it's pretty unprofessional but it's not exactly "annoying" in my opinion... although the constant clicking of "okay" does get annoying.
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#30 Guest_cfec_*

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Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:23 AM

And about the "show_message()" issue... [...] although the constant clicking of "okay" does get annoying.


I disabled [Esc] to quit the game and put that in the help file:

[Esc] = while a pop-up message is displayed, press the OK and NO buttons (instead of using the mouse)




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