Here's what happened to me as I went through your screens.
Thanks for your feedback!
I went to the tutorial and sat there watching. It didn't occur to me to actually press a key, so nothing happened. I just saw the first message about movement keys. Had to hit escape to get started again. (Include a "hit any key to continue" sort of message?)
I thought about doing that, but I didn't want to have too much text displayed at any one time. For a future version, I'll probably make the tutorial more obvious.
Same thing happened with the "watch game" as I did not know to hit "P" to get out. I tried things like space-bar and esc and enter. Had to close and restart again.
That's fair. I was hoping that "P to for pause menu" was an unwritten rule for everybody, but I guess I can't rely on that. Maybe I should have a reminder displayed in the corner or something.
Finally I got a game going, and was getting messed up badly by the black objects. I was trying to fly away from them rather than bat them. I don't know why I was resisting trying the bat key. Probably if I had gone through the tutorial in a proper fashion, then I would have been batting from the start.
Yeah, the best bet with them is to bat them away. You can dodge them, especially if your opponent is behind you, but it's usually better to hit them with your bat.
About the black guys, they sometimes both occupy the same paths, which I assume was not your intention. Do they "heat seek" the closest player? I was trying to go places so they would veer off of me and onto the opponent. This might have worked but the opponent is able to bat them over in my direction, even if I'm all the way across the screen.
Yeah, I know that happens, and I was pretty much okay with it. And yeah, they default chase the closest player, unless they've been hit with a bat, in which case they fly in the direction of the opponent for a moment before resuming their "heat seeking" behavior. Which means that you can bat them across the screen too, so that's why batting them is almost always better than dodging them.
Oh, when I am in the Applet start, if I click on the image, the game does not start. It only works when I click on the text under the image.
Hmm, I'm not sure what you mean. The applet should simply pop up a fullscreen JFrame (which you can restore to a resizable window). Clicking the applet should bring that JFrame to the front.
Here is a strategy that you might want to do something about: ignore the red, let the opponent get the first 10 pts. Just focus on the yellow. Since the red never comes back into play, you can do this indefinitely at zero cost! Better: if there is a time limit after which the red gets kicked into play? That may not be "cricket" in terms of how the rules of the game goes, but there should be a way that the opponent can rack up points if you ignore it, there should be a cost. Don't you agree?
Haha yeah I realized that strategy, but that's no fun! Plus it makes a bit of sense to allow, as I think that might work in "real" Quidditch as well. I could have the Quaffle (that's the red one) slowly bounce out from behind the goal or something.
The yellow could be harder to get. I agree with others that say it could be more unpredictable. I'm guessing you put it up high as the assumption is that the players will more likely be in the middle strata? There could be a "mild" avoidance AI routine on the yellow to set it on its way, so, for example, if the players are near the top waiting for it, it could come out the middle or bottom instead.
I went back and forth on how to handle the Snitch (the yellow one). I wanted it to be hard enough to get, but not so hard that games went on forever. Ultimately, I decided that shorter games were better, otherwise people might be bored. I suppose I could have that be an adjustable setting.
Will things get harder at higher "levels" of play? For example, more black balls? More intellegent AI for both the opponent and the yellow?
I haven't really thought about it yet, but I suppose. Or maybe you would have to play a 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 game, something like that.
My wife saw me playing and I almost got her to join in. I should have just shown her the controls instead of letting her work through the interface. She got a bit impatient with trying to figure out the tutorial navigation (we got stuck in the "watch game" section again). Her tastes are more towards "Gem Drop" or "Farm Frenzy" type games, though occasionally goes for strategy games (big Civilization fan). So, I'm afraid I didn't get us to where we tried it out as a two-player. "Master Chef" was on the tube, another distraction. Oh well.
Aw man, I'd be curious to hear about what would have happened if you had just told her the controls.
She did say she thought the two players looked too much alike, even with the head difference. I'm doing okay tracking them. I think I can track them better because I was understanding my controls, whereas she hadn't gotten to where she was flying them around yet.
That's fair. I'd need to find an artist for any other versions, as the art is pretty much the best I can do for now.
Would it be better if there was a slight amount of gravity on the players? I found I could just sit and wait for the yellow. If there was a slight inclination to drop, sitting in wait would require a bit more work.
Maybe, but I'm not sure how "real" broomsticks act. Do they float or do they drop? Plus it's no fun to just wait up there!
The AI for the opponent is kind of one-dimensional. It goes to the top corner and fires a shot that can't possibly go in. Then goes up and down. Sometimes it bats the red in, but I never saw it shoot it in.
Oh yeah, the AI is extremely simple. I added it mostly as an afterthought and a way to test without having to control both players at once. I would have to revamp it for any future versions.
I could swear I saw scores occur on a bounce (not 100% sure), but the instructions say no bouncing to score.
You can bounce it off the ground, but you can't bounce it off the wall and then into the goal from behind. You can bounce it off the wall, then to the other goal (from the front), but just not from behind.
Having to return to the mouse to restart (when selecting single player game), when everything else is a keystroke, is kind of annoying in a mild sort of way. If there were a keystroke path to restart I would probably play more games in a row.
I thought about that as well, but in the end I just got lazy. I'd need a better main menu for future versions, if I ever come back to this game.
I hope there are some observations here that prove useful for you. Thanks for making the game. It was fun once I started getting the hang of it. By the way, play and animation IS smooth. Congratulations on that.
Yep, very useful, and thanks for taking the time to play it. I'm sorry you had such difficulty with it, but I'll keep the things you said in mind for games I make in the future.