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  Toy Blocks  (Read 6499 times)
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Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 159
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« Posted 2007-05-08 20:19:29 »

Had a bank holiday weekend here in the UK, so I decided to down tools on current projects and just write something simple and fun. Here's the Toy Blocks:


It's a block stacking game for kids, but can be quite fun just to toy with. Select a pattern, stack the blocks to match the target - get a 100% match and try another. It's not terriblely exciting for you big brained people, but for the child like minds it could be enjyable.

It uses the new release of Phys2D and Slick for the graphics.

Webstart Here

Some other suggestions for game ideas so far have been 2D Jenga, Reverse Tetris and the big brother smash um up game (which I can vaguely remember from my childhood Wink)

Controls are scrolled across the bottom of the screen but essentially you drag blocks around with the left mouse button (LMB). Rotating is achieved by holding both buttons and moving the mouse.

Let me know if it doesn't run, system etc.

Kev

Offline noblemaster

JGO Ninja


Medals: 20
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« Reply #1 - Posted 2007-05-08 20:25:49 »

I think it's great  Grin 

Offline golanhall

Junior Newbie





« Reply #2 - Posted 2007-05-08 21:04:16 »

Very nice!
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Offline Riven
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« Reply #3 - Posted 2007-05-08 21:05:08 »

Apart from the dragged items behaving physically incorrect, it's quite challenging - as long as you aim to make extremely unstable towers Smiley

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Offline steveyO
« Reply #4 - Posted 2007-05-08 21:37:08 »

Worked perfectly,  quite mellow too.  My little 5yr old kid would love this, may show him tomorrow (already a big fan of martian madness + gravity battle). Gd stuff!

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Offline appel

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« Reply #5 - Posted 2007-05-08 22:05:58 »

NICE!!! Smiley Great game, of course for kids.

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Offline nva225

Junior Member





« Reply #6 - Posted 2007-05-08 23:29:58 »

Really cool, played through all the levels (last one took a while). Small suggestion though, could you make the edges of the screen not allow a block to pass through them and disappear?
Offline ryanm

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2007-05-09 00:06:45 »

What he said.  Very nice other than that minor niggle though.

I also thought the interface could do with more physicality as well - be able to fling the blocks around, rather than just have them drop from where you let go of the mouse button. This might make it more tricky for the young 'uns though.

It reminds me a lot of a mini game that you can unlock on Wario Ware for the Wii - you move and tilt the remote left and right to catch and stack a cascade of blocks falling from the top of the screen. If a block slips from the small pallet you control, you fail the level and have to restart. It takes a steady hand and careful planning. I'm not sure that it could be translated fully to single-axis mouse control, but it might be worth a shot.
Offline kevglass

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2007-05-09 06:50:03 »

Quote
Small suggestion though, could you make the edges of the screen not allow a block to pass through them and disappear?

Makes sense, I'll try it.

Quote
Apart from the dragged items behaving physically incorrect
Quote
I also thought the interface could do with more physicality as well - be able to fling the blocks around, rather than just have them drop from where you let go of the mouse button. This might make it more tricky for the young 'uns though.

I actually tried this originally, but as you say it made it too tricky to place things (especially for kiddies) imo.

Thanks for the comments!

Kev


Offline appel

JGO Wizard


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« Reply #9 - Posted 2007-05-09 22:05:09 »

One thought about that "Match" part! Kids are not used to the "percentage" concept (showing the completion), maybe a different approach would be better there... for instance showing the icons of the shapes, and when they're placed in the right place highlight them and/or place a check marker besides them. Or perhapse a simple bar.

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Offline appel

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« Reply #10 - Posted 2007-05-09 22:11:10 »

One "bug" found.

You can push objects "off-screen" with other objects. It actually happened accidently to me, and I wasn't able to complete my building  Cry


edit: sorry, saw that someone else commented about that.

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Offline kevglass

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2007-05-10 05:56:03 »

Noted in both cases. As a workround you can always press R to reset the game.

I'm trying to determine how I can prevent blocks getting pushed off the sides without adding walls that will mae the whole thing feel more constrained.

Kev

Offline blahblahblahh

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http://t-machine.org


« Reply #12 - Posted 2007-05-10 11:30:54 »

More round-things, please Smiley.

Putting stuff on top of the semi-circle, and watching it rock away without damping is quite nice.

Suggestion for a new game mode - Balancing. Make it so that only one piece is allowed to touch the ground. Like the Flash "balance" game where you are hanging items off a child's mobile/coat-hanger thing, and every time you manage to get it to balance, it adds another item and/or extra hook points.

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Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2007-05-10 12:40:30 »

...and I've got a challenge going here in the office: can you balance a triangle point-down on top of the semi-circle?

Meta-gaming is so much fun...

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Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #14 - Posted 2007-05-10 12:48:15 »

bug: (from colleague) if you put items on top of each other, to pre-build, then lift the bottom item, they lift correctly, but when you translate the bottom item left/right, the items on top have zero friction and the bottom item slides out from under them.

You may not want to allow pre-building of sections, BUT the zero-friction does look very odd right now...

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Online kappa
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« Reply #15 - Posted 2007-05-10 13:02:15 »

I'm trying to determine how I can prevent blocks getting pushed off the sides without adding walls that will mae the whole thing feel more constrained.

you could wrap the world, so if it gets pushed off the left it appears on the right.
Offline Riven
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« Reply #16 - Posted 2007-05-10 15:04:21 »

you could wrap the world, so if it gets pushed off the left it appears on the right.

Then you have 2 objects with 2 different ways the physics work, depending on other items near the two sides. You can work around that by copying the whole world to both sides, but when there are a lot of connected items, you'd have to copy the world infinite times, because items can get connected to their other selves.

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Offline kevglass

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Medals: 159
Projects: 23
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« Reply #17 - Posted 2007-05-10 22:59:55 »

Updated it some - better or worse - who knows Smiley

- Added the ability to throw blocks around a bit
- Added walls on the sides, albeit just off screen
- Added a mode selection screen
- Moved free play to it's own mode
- Added balance mode - needs refinement, Kappa suggests have a small block at the bottom on which you must place blocks.
- Some other fiddly bits, tried to catch the few cases where blocks can get stuck in mid movement.

Kev

Offline jojoh

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2007-06-09 15:24:59 »

you could wrap the world
They guy has high thoughts of you Kev  Grin

Anyway, what I meant to say was that I saw a cool physics based game with a twist just now and thought I share the link here, since it has many similarities with Toy Blocks.
http://www.experimentalgameplay.com/game.php?g=456
It is unfortunately not java, but I could maybe inspire someone to morph Toy Blocks. Well worth the download. Only shame is that it has so few levels.

Offline Kova

Senior Member





« Reply #19 - Posted 2007-06-09 20:28:53 »

great game! Smiley

remark: you can't turn off music with "m" key while in menu
bug: when you turn off music and then turn it back on, it is much louder
remark: Kev, you said you added walls, but I can still throw stuff off screen (played free mode only)
remark: there is no uninstall icon in start menu, you have to go to add/remove programs (winXP)
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 159
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #20 - Posted 2007-06-10 13:04:04 »

Free play mode doesn't have walls, part of what makes it free play mode.

Kev

Offline purpleguitar

Junior Member





« Reply #21 - Posted 2007-06-10 20:43:12 »

Running the WebStart link, the app crashed, so I enabled the Java Console.  Turns out it was crashing due to not finding OpenAL.  This made sense, since I had not yet installed the OpenAL libs on this Linux machine.  However, I think it would be useful if you could add an initialization step to Slick so that it gives some kind of useful error message if OpenAL is not found, rather than having the program just crash with a stack trace.
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 159
Projects: 23
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #22 - Posted 2007-06-10 20:50:06 »

Did it crash with a stack trace or a naitve error? If it was a stack, could you post it?

Kev

Offline PeterB

Junior Member





« Reply #23 - Posted 2007-06-10 22:28:04 »


Such a fun game Kev - good work!

I jumped right in without reading the instructions and completed the first 2 balance levels before realising you could rotate the blocks!!
Took a while to get the blue rectangles standing 'on end' just by dropping them onto other objects!



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Offline purpleguitar

Junior Member





« Reply #24 - Posted 2007-06-12 12:04:52 »

Did it crash with a stack trace or a naitve error? If it was a stack, could you post it?

It was crashing prior to installing OpenAL.  Let's see if I can uninstall OpenAL to replicate the problem... hm not easily or without rebooting.  I'll reboot the machine in several hours and try again, then edit this post.

-- edit --

Sorry, as silly as this sounds, I cannot seem to figure out how to uninstall openal.  I removed libopenal, but your program still starts up.  I'll let you know if I can make it crash, but frankly, crashing your program is less fun than playing it, so I won't be spending a lot of effort there.  If anyone else claims crashing on mandriva, tell them "urpmi openal" should do the trick.
Offline erikd

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« Reply #25 - Posted 2007-06-13 19:53:50 »

This game is pure genius!

I now have the perfect excuse to play with blocks again without needing kids  Grin

Offline skytomorrownow

Junior Member





« Reply #26 - Posted 2007-06-15 17:41:43 »

hey kev, i really liked this. such a simple idea, and a brilliant one. i have a gameplay suggestions: i found, hands down, that the best mode was freeplay. but of course that gets a little old. i was thinking this could be a great internet game a la Line Rider. i really enjoyed balancing beams on blocks, then dropping something on it to launch a projectile -- which hit's another beam. i'm imagining kind of a rube goldberg machine challenge, where i can set up, and let it run. the challenge would be to top, other player's machines for internet fame and glory. lol. i laugh, but look at the creativity and following Line Rider has...
Offline kevglass

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Medals: 159
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« Reply #27 - Posted 2007-06-15 20:49:04 »

This was a short term project for me (over a weekend). It over ran as you can imagine, but I wasn't really intending to take it any further. It's more just a demo of Slick and Phys2d working together. Kinda kooky fun but I couldn't really think of any where to take the gameplay. I'm working on a more generic physics game at the moment which might be a bit more long lasting.

Thanks for the feedback so far, it's much appreciated. Really good to understand what people do and don't find enticing.

Kev

Offline brackeen

Junior Member





« Reply #28 - Posted 2007-06-15 21:33:59 »

I like it.

So, okay, it's a short-term project, but if you were to add stuff to it, here's my two cents:
* A gameplay mode to see how high you can build a tower!
* Allow a larger play area, by scrolling left and right.
* The only thing I didn't find intuitive was rotating the blocks, although I'm not sure how else it could be implemented. Maybe grabbing an edge of a block, and spinning (like Free Transform mode in Photoshop)
Offline nva225

Junior Member





« Reply #29 - Posted 2007-06-17 18:55:00 »

Heh, actually, did you ever consider submitting this to the experimental gameplay project? I think outside people are allowed to do that right?
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