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PopSwap

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PopSwap is a game where you prevent a happy animal from plummeting to their death ;)

Its a game that takes an interesting twist on the endless runner genre and lets the player control the environment not the player.

Gently RIP me a new one i want to improve this game.
Thanks

You need firefox, internet explorer or opera to use unity webplayer.

Android it technically works on mobile but needs heavy optimisation. such as object pooling compressed textures that arent awful.

Roasts

groundon33 3 years ago

Controls Game Graphics
Hello, this is my honest opinion, textwall ahead, consider reading tldr at bottom instead

note: - = 1st level of list, + = second level of list, eg: types of games: , % = third level
-fps, examples:
+cod
+csgo
-moba, examples:
+dota

What does PopSwap have to do with the concept? What does Popping elements from a stack and Swapping element in an array have to do with this game?
Unless you intended another meaning?

mechanics:
-correct me if i'm wrong but the amount of tiles you jump is randomly generated between 'minrange' and 'maxrange'?
this is okay but too large a jump and you can't see the tiles anymore

graphics:
-perspective is really weird for me, it's difficult for me to process where the animal is located
-low quality models, low quality background (clouds look like an image upscaled 4 times and looks like it was drawn in 10 minutes)
-i would honestly make the game 2D: better visibility, easier creation of models, currently the 3D adds next to nothing
-the color palette might be improved, but the idea behind it is good, have high contrast between objects that matter (the sky, and the tiles in background and foreground)

concept: i honestly think the concept is bad to begin with, the animals could be replaced with anything else, in concept they are just balls bouncing on alternating tiles.
How you go about improving this game depends in which direction you want to go:

-go towards your original concept (preventing animals from plummeting to their death): come up with new mechanics that work well with your concept and go less to the abstract,
altough i feel this is not the way you want to go, because the current mechanics have almost nothing to do with plummeting to death and nothing that is unique to animals

-go more towards the abstract side of current implementation (ball bouncing on tiles):
i think this is the way to go for you, ditch the animals, stick with the 'control the environment',
and now i'm going to try to give you some ideas about how you could change the mechanics,
i'm keeping the mechanic that every wall (=rotated line) is in one of two groups that can be made collidable with the press of the button:

+allow for more walls and let them be generated everywhere and with any slope/rotation and length, this allows:
%alternative to 'jump random number', now the ball can have varying directions (bouncing off walls)
%the player can take advantage of slopes that are angled a certain way to better control the ball
altough make sure that there is enough distance between the walls, and that they don't overlap
+give different walls different properties when colliding, examples of different properties (when colliding):
%give/take velocity (xVelocity and yVelocity): have reasonable limits on the amount of velocity given/taken (ball needs to have its own velocity)
%'does not collide when ball comes from bottom': the 'bottom' should be determined by the angle of the wall (only applies when you implement rotated walls)
%teleport ball
%lower/increase gravity (possibly for a certain duration)
%and so on
+note: this idea requires the ball to have it's own velocity, to prevent the player the player from gaining to much speed, implement negative returns,
the faster the ball goes, the faster it loses speed, this makes it hard to go too fast and break the game.
Also recommended to increase the balls velocity on every collision with a wall

general things you should look out for/do:
-make sure there is enough of the level on the screen
-choose between fixed levels (easier to have wel designed levels) and randomly generated levels
-implement one thing at a time, and slowly add features
-for backgrounds, models: choose a model that fits with your theme of the game or choose to have an abstract model (for example a clear blackground, the ball is just a ball)
-when you bounce the rainbow takes an awkward turn, consider hiding the turn by showing something in front (like a pot of gold or something else that signifies a bounce)

tldr (what i find most important);
-make game 2D
-revise concept, consider going abstract:
+add rotated walls
+give the ball its own velocity
+add properties when colliding

feel free to ask me any questions
Reply

Tokwa 3 years ago

Hey first off thank you I greatly appreciate the thorough roasting.

Ok so the name PopSwap is literally due to how you swap which colour is popped out, I was looking for a name change but it has since grown on me.

You are right about the random generation of tiles and i have been balancing the jump range but i feel the game needs to get harder and harder. So this is a hard balance to reach.

Graphically and mechanically PopSwap is intended to be a casual game aimed at younger children and casual gamers essentially a mobile game intended for time wasting and competing with friends E.G. Crossy Road or Flappy Bird. So graphically I intended it to be a cutesy casual game with little animals that bounce on colourful blocks in the sky (background was done quickly) but the models were bought and i think they would work in a cutesy game

I think the 3D adds to the popping and swapping of the tiles and i don't see this working in 2D, correct me if i'm wrong.

I know very little about colour palettes and theory i just wanted colours that matched and were appealing in a nice casual game. I have struggled trying to find an art style but i think the characters work but the BG and the platforms need changing.

As for the concept i added "preventing animals from plummeting to their death" into the description mainly as a joke and a light hearted advertising point i guess to try make it sound more unique. The game is intended to be a little endless runner with animals bouncing on platforms.

The mechanics i think need tweaking and i like the ideas for different platforms you had like the gravity change and teleporters.

But the game is essentially a timing game so i cant have too much of the level on screen at the moment random levels seem to be the way to go currently RNG decides if the platform is a double then if its green or red. then a second query makes sure they alternate.

I was considering adding a circle graphics on the point the rainbows take another arc because the lines are weird at that point.

Thank you for your feedback you took a lot of time to write everything i needed and fairly but thoroughly roasted me (that is what i needed)

It is now clear to me now that the graphics do collide so what i need is a change of background and platforms have you got any idea how i can change these into BGs and platforms that compliment the characters.
Reply

groundon33 3 years ago

'You are right about the random generation of tiles and i have been balancing the jump range but i feel the game needs to get harder and harder. So this is a hard balance to reach. '
i suggest using a value to represent difficulty, calculate this value in function of distance travelled, have different functions for different difficulty levels.
example:
easy: difficulty = log(distanceTravelled)
normal: difficulty = log(distanceTravelled) + 1
hard: difficulty = 1.2 * log(distanceTravelled) + 2
Use this difficulty value to generate tiles (amount of tiles, types of tiles,...)

'Graphically and mechanically PopSwap is intended to be a casual game aimed at younger children and casual gamers essentially a mobile game intended for time wasting and competing with friends E.G. Crossy Road or Flappy Bird. So graphically I intended it to be a cutesy casual game with little animals that bounce on colourful blocks in the sky (background was done quickly) but the models were bought and i think they would work in a cutesy game '
I think we come to an important issue: feedback and time.
time: The time you are in the air on average increases with the difficulty like it's now implemented, the player can only make a decision that matters every
x seconds, i can feel this very getting boring the further you are.
Flappy Bird is fast, and has the player making important decisions throughout (how many times to flap)
Crossy Road allows the player to decide and run at their own pace (altough there is a speed limit for the animals and the obstacles must align)

feedback: when the animal is in the air and the tiles are invisible, there is no feedback, very bad, especially on mobile devices (did it register my tap?)
consider limiting the arc of a player so that the highest arc still allows the player to view the tiles completely (vertically)


'I think the 3D adds to the popping and swapping of the tiles and i don't see this working in 2D, correct me if i'm wrong. '
i does add, but i think you need to experiment with the perspective, it just feels a bit off
to make this work in 2D: the tiles that are popped out are their normal colors, the tiles that are popped in are greyed out/have less color/other.

'The mechanics i think need tweaking and i like the ideas for different platforms you had like the gravity change and teleporters.'
Also consider varying the length of the tiles.

'I know very little about colour palettes and theory i just wanted colours that matched and were appealing in a nice casual game. I have struggled trying to find an art style but i think the characters work but the BG and the platforms need changing.'
keep it simple, i don't know what artstyle you could go for, maybe change the tiles and background depending on distance travelled:
-night/day
-type of tileset (=how the tiles look, texture of tiles or model of tiles) like buildings, clouds, treetops, bouncing on the roofs of driving cars (that are driving at the same speed so that the tiles stay in the same place, popping and swapping makes cars change lane with 2 lanes), ...

'But the game is essentially a timing game so i cant have too much of the level on screen at the moment random levels seem to be the way to go currently RNG decides if the platform is a double then if its green or red. then a second query makes sure they alternate.'
i agree on generating levels with RNG, but not jump range
also why a second query? don't randomly decide if the color is red or green, just use the opposite color of the previous tile(s)
Also consider allowing more than 2 of the same color of tile:
1. choose random number between 1 and maxTilesOfSameColor, generate that many tiles with color X
2. repeat 1 but with the alternate color

Also something else:
the animals always rotate counterclockwise and only roll, consider 'simulating' wind resistance on the polygons of the animals that are sticking out.
How to do this:
-give every animal a yawChange, pitchChange, rollChange value
-when an animal travels a distance, the new value of the yaw, pitch and roll of the animals becomes: x = (x + change*distanceTravelled) % 360
eg: yaw = (yaw + yawChange * distanceTravelled) % 360
keep in mind that the yaw, roll and pitch should wrap around thus we use mod (%),
note that you should replace the value '360' with 2*Pi if your math functions use radians
distanceTravelled = difference in x values between current location of animal and previous location

Also consider using different tile lengths

feel free to ask any questions.
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diploms1 3 years ago

Game Graphics Game Graphics
nice image
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funtobuild 3 years ago

Mechanics Tutorial/Learning Curve
Hiya, played on Unity Web, so the controls weren't obvious (arrow keys? wasd?) ... eventually figured out spacebar to swap the piano keys (thats what they look like to me)

a wee dialog or hint screen saying what you need to do would assist. Or perhaps, having the character not drop until the correct input is hit the first time?

I showed the models to my son (16yrs old) and he wouldn't have a bar of the game due to how creepy the characters looked lol

it works smoothly and well on the laptop
Reply

Tokwa 3 years ago

Thanks for your feedback. The platforms made me think of xylophone keys initially.

I will add everything you mentioned as it was stuff i was leaving till the end for some reason.

Also some questions about the characters do you think they would be creepy to a younger audience? and what made them creepy.?
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funtobuild 3 years ago

well.. he is creeped out by dolls in general, but yeah. lol, i think it was just him :P
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