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  Hovercraft  (Read 63529 times)
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Offline bornander
« Posted 2014-09-23 19:59:21 »

This is a project I've been playing around with for a while now during my commute to work.
It's called Hovercraft and it's a game where you fly a weird little ship collecting gems and avoiding obstacles on your path to the landing zone.
you control the ship by firing any of your craft's jet engines, it's fairly hard to control so most levels can be completed in less than a minute.

It uses Google+ for leader boards and achievements.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bornander.hovercraft

The game is using AndEngine with Box2D for physics, the graphics is a low-res version of a Kenney tile-set.



The game is currently in alpha testing in Google play, here's a video of me trying it out on a tablet;
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/cEh2BkB2fT0?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/cEh2BkB2fT0?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;start=</a>

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline bornander
« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-09-30 18:48:17 »

So this project is pretty much feature complete, it now has 56 levels, a leader board ,15 (I think) achievements and the game play is not too buggy.

I am pushing it into beta-testing to tune the levels, if anyone is interested in trying it out please let me know and I'll add you to the Google+ group that is the group of beta-testers. I would appreciate any comments you might have.

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline bornander
« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-10-05 15:29:00 »

I've moved this game out of beta and into prod now.
It's available on Google Play (free and no ads or in-game purchases) for anyone who wants to try it.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bornander.hovercraft

If anyone does give it a go I would very much like feed back on the difficulty. I've deliberately made it difficult (to to point where I expect a beginner to have to try several times to complete the first level), but I obviously don't want it to be too difficult.

Any feedback is appreciated.

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline LostWarrior

Senior Devvie


Medals: 8
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-10-08 15:45:43 »

I've been playing this game on my phone for little over a week now, and I can tell you that I've had a ton of fun. I think today only I already played over an hour. It's a really good game for when you have a small moment. The graphics aren't what you would call fancy, but I like them nontheless. It's a bloody hard game though. And the level difficulty differs every time. Some of them are rock hard but I also finish some of them in one go. That's maybe something you can think about but other than that, good work!

Cows aren't sheep, because pigs already are.
Offline bornander
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-10-08 17:56:10 »

I've been playing this game on my phone for little over a week now, and I can tell you that I've had a ton of fun.
...
but other than that, good work!

This made my day!
The fact that you liked it and took the time to tell me so is something I appreciate very much. It motivates me to finish off the game by ironing out the last bugs (sorry about them) and adding a config options that allow the player to tweak the controls a bit.

I know the levels aren't exactly incremental in difficulty, I'm writing this game on my commute to/from work and level design is something that I haven't given the priority it needs (I've gone for finishing the game instead). I know that's an area I have to work on and I'll try to do better.

Again; thanks for the feedback and for telling me you like my game.

/bornander

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline scanevaro
« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-10-08 18:03:29 »

I love it!
Offline bornander
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-10-08 18:15:31 »

I love it!
And I love that you took the time to tell me so!   Smiley

Thank you for trying it and thanks for commenting on it.

/bornander

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline LostWarrior

Senior Devvie


Medals: 8
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-10-08 18:17:29 »

One think I didn't quite get was the hovercraft you get with the red hull. Is it heavier than the first one or something?

Cows aren't sheep, because pigs already are.
Offline bornander
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-10-08 18:38:15 »

Is it heavier than the first one or something?

Yes. Their weight is proportional to their size, so the red one is more sluggish.
A few chapters later you get  a smaller yellow one, with is more agile. In all honesty, those to chapters are there to stretch out the game as they're both contain only copies of previous levels, that you now have to navigate with a different hover craft.

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline LostWarrior

Senior Devvie


Medals: 8
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-10-08 18:39:29 »

Yeah I figured they were copies when going to the next chapters.

Cows aren't sheep, because pigs already are.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline bornander
« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-10-08 18:51:38 »

...they were copies...
Yeah, every third chapter is a re-hash of the previous two.

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline bornander
« Reply #11 - Posted 2014-10-10 06:59:16 »

I've gotten some comments about how the game is very difficult and how the controls are a bit small on small screen devices so I've released an update to the Google Play where there's a Settings screen where the player can tune this a bit.

I would love to hear if changing the Controls setting makes the game more playable.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bornander.hovercraft

Thanks.

/bornander

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline LostWarrior

Senior Devvie


Medals: 8
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #12 - Posted 2014-10-10 13:49:11 »

I've tried the game with the new settings and they make it a lot nicer. Not only the bigger buttons are very nice, but the control difficulty slider is a nice addon as well. I still can't manage level 7 of chapter 4 though, but I think that's just my lack of skill.

Cows aren't sheep, because pigs already are.
Offline bornander
« Reply #13 - Posted 2014-10-10 14:17:59 »

I've tried the game with the new settings and they make it a lot nicer. Not only the bigger buttons are very nice, but the control difficulty slider is a nice addon as well.

Thanks for trying that, I'm glad you found it easier with the controls adjusted.

I still can't manage level 7 of chapter 4 though, but I think that's just my lack of skill.

The trick is not to try to go up through the propellers, but always go around and fall down through the gap  Wink


Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline mbabuskov

JGO Coder


Medals: 21
Projects: 3
Exp: 2 years


Bigosaur.com


« Reply #14 - Posted 2014-10-10 14:28:23 »

I played it for two days now. It's fun!

Here are some things you might want to improve to make it even better:

The contrast between light-blue sky and white letters is weak. There are way to solve this:

- add a dark outline to each letter (this solution is the best, but I assume needs most work)
- make the sky a little bit darker
- make the letters black or maybe some gold/yellow shade

As for the gameplay, there are two frustrating moments:

1. when you fall on the "roof". You have to restart the level, but there is no button on the screen for it, I have to use the back button on the device to get it to show. Looks like a nitpick, but making the game dynamic is what made Flappy Bird a hit.

2. falling all the way down. You have to wait until it gets there. Of course, having a restart button on the screen would fix that. But maybe, you could add a huge horizontal platform at the bottom that bounces. So if you fall off, you could bouce and try to climb back up.

Also, could you please enable the immersive mode on KitKat. My son keeps hitting the back and home button on the device all the time. If you're not sure how it's done, and you're using libGDX here's the code:

http://bigosaur.com/blog/32-handle-immersive-kitkat



Milan Babuskov
bigosaur.com
Offline bornander
« Reply #15 - Posted 2014-10-10 15:59:41 »

I played it for two days now. It's fun!
Cool, I am glad you think it's fun.

The contrast between light-blue sky and white letters is weak. There are way to solve this:
- add a dark outline to each letter (this solution is the best, but I assume needs most work)
- make the sky a little bit darker
- make the letters black or maybe some gold/yellow shade
Do you mean the text in the actual levels that says things like "Land here" and "Collect all gems...", or the ones in the menues?
in either case I'll look in to increasing the contrast.

1. when you fall on the "roof". You have to restart the level, but there is no button on the screen for it, I have to use the back button on the device to get it to show. Looks like a nitpick, but making the game dynamic is what made Flappy Bird a hit.

2. falling all the way down. You have to wait until it gets there. Of course, having a restart button on the screen would fix that. But maybe, you could add a huge horizontal platform at the bottom that bounces. So if you fall off, you could bouce and try to climb back up.
Both very valid points I think. I am not asking you to design my UI, but where would you put such a reset button?
Maybe move the "compass" to the top and have a reset button where the "compass" is now?

Also, could you please enable the immersive mode on KitKat. My son keeps hitting the back and home button on the device all the time. If you're not sure how it's done, and you're using libGDX here's the code:
http://bigosaur.com/blog/32-handle-immersive-kitkat

It's not built using libGDX (in hind-sight I probably should have used that), but in any case; I'll enable immersive mode.

Thank you so much for commenting and providing such detailed and valuable feedback.

/bornander

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline bornander
« Reply #16 - Posted 2014-10-11 22:08:26 »

So I am working away implementing the comments given to me when a user emails me this screenshot from him playing the game.
He somehow managed to land the hovercraft with no landing gear or no engines attached.

I might just have to add an achievement for that particular scenario Grin


Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline bornander
« Reply #17 - Posted 2014-10-12 18:51:55 »

As for the gameplay, there are two frustrating moments:
1. when you fall on the "roof". You have to restart the level, but there is no button on the screen for it, I have to use the back button on the device to get it to show. Looks like a nitpick, but making the game dynamic is what made Flappy Bird a hit.
2. falling all the way down. You have to wait until it gets there. Of course, having a restart button on the screen would fix that. But maybe, you could add a huge horizontal platform at the bottom that bounces. So if you fall off, you could bouce and try to climb back up.
Also, could you please enable the immersive mode on KitKat. My son keeps hitting the back and home button on the device all the time. If you're not sure how it's done, and you're using libGDX here's the code:

I've implemented these now. If you're on a KitKat (or higher) device the game will go into Immersive Mode. Doing that forced me to fix your other two points as well as there's no way to restart the game when the back-button is hidden.

I added two buttons at the top of the screen (took some re-shuffling of the HUD), one for quick-restart and one brining up the game's standard pause-menu. The problem is that the buttons aren't that intuitive so at the beginning of the level a message is show to tell you what they do. That message fades away as soon as the game starts;



I hope this will remove some of the frustrations you had.

/bornander

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline mbabuskov

JGO Coder


Medals: 21
Projects: 3
Exp: 2 years


Bigosaur.com


« Reply #18 - Posted 2014-10-14 14:30:13 »

Here's how I'd do it (since you asked)  Smiley

Move the fuel and time to top-left corner one underneath the other.

Move the restart and menu button into top-right corner. Use the standard graphics:

- rewind icon for restart (just like the one you use when the player drifts too far away)
- pause || or hamburger (3 horizontal bars) button for menu.

Milan Babuskov
bigosaur.com
Offline bornander
« Reply #19 - Posted 2014-10-14 16:23:05 »

Here's how I'd do it (since you asked)  Smiley

Damn it Mr Babuskov! That is a way better suggestion than what I actually implemented, couldn't you have let me know before I rushed off? Smiley

Right, I'm starting version 1.5 tonight where I'll re-jig the HUD to what you suggest. It will be known as the mbabuskov update.

Thank you for the feedback.

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline mbabuskov

JGO Coder


Medals: 21
Projects: 3
Exp: 2 years


Bigosaur.com


« Reply #20 - Posted 2014-10-15 09:53:54 »

Looks great.

Here are a couple of things you might want to fix as well:

1. When you restart the level the sound keeps playing. To reproduce: press B button and hit Restart while still holding B. The level will restart. Release B - sound keeps playing.

2. When I'm holding the phone/tablet upside down (I have to because it's charging and I'm in bed and the cable is too short  Smiley ) it would be nice if the screen turned as well. Doing this is a simple, just add this line in AndroidManifest.xml:

android:screenOrientation="sensorLandscape"

The device will do the rotation automatically.

Milan Babuskov
bigosaur.com
Offline scanevaro
« Reply #21 - Posted 2014-10-15 16:22:39 »

I love it love it love it!
I showed it to some friends and got really hooked with it!
You should be really proud Smiley

its a fun, simple, lovely, and brillant game.

A critic? mmm I havent tryed the last update, but maybe some ambient or instrumental music?

Also, i would have no problem if you add some ads on the pause dialog, and main menu.
Ah, also too, a splash screen i think it could add some more seriousness/profesionalism, if thats what you want.

Keep it up  Grin
Offline bornander
« Reply #22 - Posted 2014-10-15 18:37:57 »

Looks great.
Cheers! Again, thanks for suggesting it.

1. When you restart the level the sound keeps playing.
Fixed.
2. When I'm holding the phone/tablet upside down (I have to because it's charging and I'm in bed and the cable is too short  Smiley ) it would be nice if the screen turned as well.
Fixed.

I just pushed version 1.6 to Google Play, you'll have to wait for that to filter out before you can comfortable play while charging in bed  Roll Eyes

And I can't tell you how grateful I am that you're not only pointing these issues out, but also suggestion solutions. It is very much appreciated.

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline bornander
« Reply #23 - Posted 2014-10-16 19:11:26 »

I love it love it love it!
I showed it to some friends and got really hooked with it!
You should be really proud Smiley
Oh you, stop it, you're making me blush.

its a fun, simple, lovely, and brillant game.
I said stop it!  Roll Eyes

A critic? mmm I havent tryed the last update, but maybe some ambient or instrumental music?
The main reason there isn't any music is that I haven't found any fitting music released under a suitable Creative Commons license. If I manage to locate that I will add it.

Also, i would have no problem if you add some ads on the pause dialog, and main menu.
I think I am going to leave this one ad free. Comments like yours is reward enough.

Ah, also too, a splash screen i think it could add some more seriousness/profesionalism, if thats what you want.
I've always thought that a splash-screen should be very minimalistic, it should spend zero time loading things for itself and essentially only be the required wait until resource are loaded. But since my game have a fairly limited number of users I also thought I should pay attention to their opinions, so I added stuff both to the splash-screen (as per your suggestion) and also the menu screens.
And I must say I think it looks a lot more polished. Maybe the menus look a bit cluttered now but I still like it better than what I had before.

I've just pushed out version 1.7 (or the scanevaro update as I like to call it  Wink), if you have time; update your version and let me know what you think.

On an un-related note; how far into the game have you gotten?

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline LostWarrior

Senior Devvie


Medals: 8
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #24 - Posted 2014-10-16 19:15:31 »

The new UI options are great. And I wouldn't mind too if you added some ads here and there.
I still find it quite a fun game even though I still can't manage to solve that level.

Keep up the good stuff!

Cows aren't sheep, because pigs already are.
Offline bornander
« Reply #25 - Posted 2014-10-16 19:30:11 »

The new UI options are great. And I wouldn't mind too if you added some ads here and there.
Cool I am glad they helped. Yeah I know what you mean, Ads done right can be Ok, but done incorrectly (and I think many games does it badly) can ruin a game I think.

I still find it quite a fun game even though I still can't manage to solve that level.
Keep up the good stuff!
Thanks, as a reward I'll let you feast your eyes on the new menu screen  Roll Eyes



Tantalizing with that key in the corner, no? What does it do? What does it open?  Grin

Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline LostWarrior

Senior Devvie


Medals: 8
Exp: 5 years



« Reply #26 - Posted 2014-10-16 19:32:29 »

Mmmm a bit of a tease, huh? Curious to see what you will bring us next Smiley

Cows aren't sheep, because pigs already are.
Offline Phibedy

Senior Devvie


Medals: 9



« Reply #27 - Posted 2014-10-21 20:13:33 »

Good game, like it  Wink
Some questions:
How are the numbers of stars calc. you get after finishing a level?
What do I need for unlocking a new chapter?

You could/should answer those ingame Smiley
Offline bornander
« Reply #28 - Posted 2014-10-22 07:23:27 »

Good game, like it  Wink
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it and I really appreciate you taking the time to tell me so.

How are the numbers of stars calc. you get after finishing a level?
It's just done based on time, but the limits for each star is individual to each level.

What do I need for unlocking a new chapter?
You need to finish all the levels in the previous chapter.

You could/should answer those ingame Smiley
Fair point. I thought that it was obvious that you had to complete chapter one to see chapter two, as that is how the levels work (you have to finish level one to unlock level two), but for the stars it's a little bit more obscure, and I have gotten the same comment from other users.
I don't know a good way, short of telling you at the end of the level "if you had been 1.2 seconds faster, you would have gotten two stars", to indicate this though. If I figure something out I'll add it, unless you've got a suggestion?


Try my Android games: Grapple | Hovercraft | Lala
Offline scanevaro
« Reply #29 - Posted 2014-10-22 15:47:03 »


I've just pushed out version 1.7 (or the scanevaro update as I like to call it  Wink), if you have time; update your version and let me know what you think.

On an un-related note; how far into the game have you gotten?


Love that SplashScreen/TitleScreen, simple and fast.
And the main menu looks much better.

I got only to chapter 2, level 4 HAHA.
Love my update hehe
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