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Binary Sparks - A weather/electricity puzzle game

Discussion in 'Beta Zone' started by Amber Crown Games, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. Hi! This is Binary Sparks, a puzzle/platformer inspired by Portal.

    Current version: Demo 1.1
    Demo build 1.2 in progress

    Welcome to the 9th dimension!
    You control B.O.B (Binary Organized Bot) in a stranger futuristic solar system.
    Use electricity, weather effects and dimension shifts to solve puzzles.
    On each level there are contacts that must be connected to different corresponding plugins. Once each contact has been plugged in, sparks will appear, taking B.O.B to the next level.

    Download link:
    http://gamejolt.com/games/binary-sparks-demo/169624

    SCREENSHOTS:

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    TRAILERS:



    OTHER VIDEOS:




    ___________________________________________________

    MY SOCIAL MEDIA SITES:

    TWITTER:
    https://twitter.com/ambercrowngames

    INSTAGRAM:
    https://www.instagram.com/ambercrowngames/

    FACEBOOK:
    https://www.facebook.com/AmberCrownGames/

    YOUTUBE:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeZloYvenEbzkd4CMiCuscQ

    HOMEPAGE:
    http://www.123minsida.se/ambercrowngames/

    ____________________________________________________
     

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    Last edited: Sep 17, 2016
  2. RazTutu

    RazTutu Member

    I want to tell you that I played only the first level and half from the second one. I will
    play more when I'll have more time.
    I will start with the first bad thing I saw when I entered the game. The " how to play" section
    doesn't look very good on my screen ( 1280x1024 played also on 1280x720), I uploaded an image with the problem
    https://postimg.org/image/z902kqyfp/
    Now the good part:
    I enjoyed it, it's a nice idea, the second level was much better than the first one, I had more fps, but the first level
    was also ok. I had some problems when I had to move the first box/thing but I did it somehow, and the other ones were easy.
    It looks very nice, good job.
     
  3. Thanks for your reply!

    Wow I dont know why that help menu problem occured. I will look into it more. Is there any other similar ptoblem concerning screen resolution in the game? Please tell me if there is.

    I dont understand did you play with more FPS on the second level? Really?

    What kinds of problems did you have with the first box? What box do you mean, the cloud box, the box that takes out the fire in the first level?

    Thank you so much for reporting! Means alot
     
  4. Kaidus

    Kaidus Administrator Staff Member

    We decided to make a first look as we played through the game for the first time. We apologize as it is a little critical or teasing, we just wanted to record our thoughts of the first time playing it so you could see exactly what our impressions were and what we may or may not have had trouble with. We understand it's still in the works and this is an early version, so hopefully this video will just help you know how it is going so far from a players perspective.

     
  5. Hi! Thank you so much. Altough it is kinda negative, it might scare off people from playing the game at all. I dont know if I like that actually. Im sorry

    If you mind telling me again the things you liked and dont liked?

    Is it really that confusing? What is confusing again? I could make a simple tutorial.

    Why are the graphics bad just because theyre simple?

    Thanks for your time
     
  6. Also did you play the third level?
     
  7. Kaidus

    Kaidus Administrator Staff Member

    Hello, sorry it wasn't quite as positive of a review as you were hoping for, it wasn't our intention. To clarify, we loved the gameplay and the idea of the game, we just felt the graphics made it hard to enjoy. We wanted to show you the game with a fresh pair of eyes unfamiliar with the game.

    I'll try to explain more.

    The graphics do not necessarily need to be complex in order to be good, however for us it was slightly hard to figure out what was happening both in the trailer and during the gameplay because they were so simple. For example, in other games we have played when you plugged something in that connected an electrical current you would see an electrical cord light up with power and then that cord would run down all the way to what you powered up. Because there weren't any visible connections between the plugs to anything else it was confusing for us to see what was happening when the plug was connected.

    In the scene below, our minds can quickly create a frame of reference.
    [​IMG]
    Simply graphics are fine when we can build images of them from past logic. The floating platforms in the sky were confusing, are they are part of the level or just art? Why are they floating? It was hard to figure out the silver pyramid things, the pinwheels, other random trees and poles because it was hard to distinguish what was artistic qualities of the game and what were action points.

    Altering the graphics to look slighly more like space platforms could help.
    [​IMG]

    If a game says that you are on a space station there is some place in our minds with some information on a space station that creates a frame of reference for us to view the game through. If the game states that you are on an alien planet, you can imagine that you are going to see weird and strange things because that is what fits with that frame of reference. The only frame of reference here was that you are playing as a robot, the rest of the graphics did not help to create a world at all similar to one that we might be familiar to, if it was suggested that we would be exploring space in another dimension, or some other reason, that might explain why things look so strange but without some frame of reference to give some background information to the scene it can be confusing.

    I think a tutorial would help, however it might make the levels too easy at the same time. If all the action objects were labeled that could help. (ex. The teleporter could say "teleporter" above it in gray letters, like character names in online games.
     
  8. Alright I know youre doing this as conatructive critisism, but where should I start?

    I mean some of the enviromental things might be confusing but I really want to use some of them. Its another dimension its not a normal space, therefore all strange objects. Taking them away is taking away half of my game actually.

    I do think the plugs looks like plugs though. But I can redo them.

    I dont know if it is this confusing and all it feels like I have to redo the entire game, thus loosing all that I made up in the process.

    So where do I start?
     
  9. Also I stated very cleae it takes place in another dimension so you do have more references than that you play as a robot.
     
  10. QueenSpryo

    QueenSpryo Administrator Staff Member

    Hey there! I am the other member in the video that played your game and thought I might chime in with what I thought about it :)

    I think you could actually keep the game mostly as it is. Possible spend some time enhancing some of the detail graphics on particular aspects of the game (transports, cubes, trees, just some specific things) and still keep the overall basic clean feel of the levels the same.

    We aren't saying that you have to start over from scratch! And we also did really like the puzzles in the game :)

    You posted with the game that it takes place in a “stranger futuristic solar system.” however this does not give that much reference for the levels. Why is a platform floating in space in this solar system? In the solar systems we know of all that there is is chemicals, stars, gasses, other aspects like that so the levels in this game do not really fit with our current image of a solar system. When you said “Welcome to the 9th dimension!” in the post, the video, and the game it didn't really stick out for me at least, so I did not notice it. In the game it was kind of hard to understand what the voice was saying, this could be the voice or too many rock concerts on my part.

    Perhaps summarizing the game “You are going to be flung into another dimension where the world as you know it no longer exists. Solve puzzles in ways you could never imagine, prepare to see a whole new solar system” or something similar would have been better. Or perhaps in the trailer have words appear across the screen stating that you are going to be entering a totally different dimension, the 9th dimension? Or maybe even show a banner like that before the game starts to prep the player before they are in it?

    Honestly, you could keep your game exactly the same and not change anything. The fact that we missed that it was in another dimension/galaxy is only here so you know that some people may miss that point if the information on this page is all that they are given.

    I think the game is good overall, it is only the communication to the player when they first see the trailer and information that is somewhat lacking from our perspective. Perhaps if we had realized we were in a totally different dimension/galaxy it would have made more sense in our minds and would have been easy to figure out. That is part of the reason we were mentioning the graphics so much, more detailed graphics may have communicated to us that we were in another dimension even if we missed what you said in the post. Also, we are probably going to be some of your harshest critics, the point is that we can point all this out and then you can choose what to do with it. The other problem is that we can only play from our perspective, not everyone is going to miss the dimension/galaxy part or be bothered by simple graphics, it is just our perspective and we are trying to be as honest as possible.
     
  11. Kaidus

    Kaidus Administrator Staff Member

    I wouldn't get discouraged at all, your game has lots to offer. I'm guessing you enjoy playing the game yourself, likely because you know exactly what the game is and the different challenges and great things to expect. Likely the game is way more fun in the later levels. If you can convey to people the game from the way you understand it than its going to improve tenfold.
     
  12. I never meant to be butthurt sorry If I sounded so. Im just afraid it might scare off people from playing it.

    Apart from that it is really important to be honest which you were. Also really really asm to get a review video att all. Especially on this early stage.

    Ill check out your video again and write down what you didnt like but I would appreciate it if you could write down a list here from the most bad/confusing thing and why it is bad, and perhaps some alternative to it and so on. Lik a priority list for me. Is that too much to ask?
     
  13. Kaidus

    Kaidus Administrator Staff Member

    We decided to try a different route with this video... Let me know what you think



    List
    High priority:
    It was hard to distinguish the action items like switches from the decorative items. Perhaps labeling the action items or making them glow or some way to distinguish them would help. For instance I didn't know the teleporter was in fact a teleporter.

    It was hard to tell what each switch was doing when I pressed them. This caused me to get confused on what was actually happening when I pressed each switch.


    Low priority
    The first level had too many places to fall, this made it somewhat hard to get used to the gameplay.

    A visual theme to pull the graphics together more. For this one, think of yourself as a movie directory. Every shot and angle should try to look visually appealing. Taking a videography course or photography course can really help.
     
  14. Well that video was amazing. Thank you so much.

    I want again to say I never want to be butthurt people will like to see a game before they play it, or just see it anyways:)

    Im designing a tutorial this weekend.

    High priority:

    I can understand how this is confusing. I hope it will make sense if I present the actual action items in the tutorial and have some other surrondings. I can make the surroindings look less detailed or something

    Low priority:
    Actually this is the harder part I think I actually have a theme, but di you mean a general theme and not different for each level? Ive gone for differnt themes for every level. How disturbing or confusing are the random shapes in the space btw?

    Thanks
     
  15. Kaidus

    Kaidus Administrator Staff Member

    I'm glad you like it! and no worries, I realize it wasn't your intention.

    We were of course able to figure out the theme you were going for now, I don't see anything wrong with running with it. The crazy looking atmosphere works,but having some of the floor panels change color without reason and other things in the environment that don't make any sense might give the viewer the feel of a different dimension. Maybe if you want to go with a crazy wild other dimension feel make it even crazier? Weirder colors, more random of shapes, nothing that looks too normal, yet it has to give the viewer the illusion of normal (Yea, if that makes sense right)? Or maybe pick a couple main colors and have almost everything be those main colors with only a few things popping out? (think flowers in a green field with green trees and brown bark and brown dirt, the flowers will stand out but the overall feel will be green and brown.)

    The main thing is making the areas you can walk on look like paths or the areas you can't look like barriers. If you can eliminate this confusion of players wondering where they can move it will help.
     
  16. Alright thanks

    I was thinking of changing some og the shapes to spaceships and satellites and other stuff like that. Altough, it might be to "normal then". The hardest part is the surrounding, because you want something in the background except for the sky
     
  17. Also I have to just ask? Do you really get confused about what the action objects and surrounding/details are? Even the teleporter?

    Im asking because no other ones have told me this. I can understand if youre confused on what the action objects do and so on but every thing large and stuck to the ground is never an action object. I think its standard in gaming.

    Im just asking so you know

    Thanks
     
  18. Hi! Can you move this to games in development?

    Thanks
     
  19. Kaidus

    Kaidus Administrator Staff Member

    Sure, I moved this into beta since the game can be tested. If you want to do updates your welcome to post them in the updates/log section as well.

    To answer your other question, the reason we were confused with the action objects and the decorative objects is mostly because there were so few objects to interact with in the game. From this perspective, we were unsure if these objects should have been used for some purpose. Take the top screenshot picture for example, while these were not action objects, it kinda feels like we could bounce another object off of them and use them as some sort of reflector. We of course were able to find the action objects, however we were not very confident we were doing the right thing as we played.
     
  20. Alright but did you check out my video? Has it improved?

    Will post the updates here later too

    Thanks
     

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