james_lohr's picture

Beam Machine Beta

Hello,

I'm finally ready to beta my baby: The Beam Machine (I need to think of a better name, but for the moment this will have to do).

The server is humming away next to me, the network cable gaffer-taped to the foot of the table so that, even if I do trip over it again, I'm not going to unplug it. Everything you'd expect from a true production environment!

Please download it and give it a go. :)

Youtube Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0FFyAqgyD8&feature=youtube_gdata

Screenshots

http://www.opentk.com/project/BeamMachine

Game Client Windows Installer
https://sourceforge.net/projects/beammachine/files/BeamMachine_Beta.exe/...

Controls

A - Move Left
D - Move Right
W - Move Down
E - Rotate Clockwise
Q - Rotate Anti-Clockwise
SPACE - Drop
1 - Block Bonus (shortcut)
2 - Shell Bonus (shortcut)
3 - Unbreakable Bonus (shortcut)
4 - Magnetic Bonus (shortcut)
ENTER - Chat Console
Left Click - Select / Place bonus
Right Click - Colour Switch
ESC - Back/Quit

Disclaimer: the music is not my own, it's stolen until I get round to sorting out the music/sound myself.


Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Inertia's picture

I like the matchmaking/highscore idea very much, that should work well for a competitive game :)

Regarding difficulty of the AI, I think there is alot to learn from the games that ship with a stock Wii. These games really let you win in the beginning and increase difficulty with time played (=experience) of the player. Many other games you can buy for the Wii do not realize this and are incredibly hard to get into, because the difficulty is adjusted for the programmers/testers who know the gameplay - not beginners.
i.e. the AI you developed is very strong gameplay-wise, but it is meant to provide a challenge - not necessarily fun (ofcourse a challenge can be fun too, but that's more for the veteran players).

This may be superficial, but I think the menus will be alot more welcoming if you decrease the backgrounds brightness (so it really is a background and does not fight for attention with the letters) and change the font to a yellow/gold/brownish color (keep highlighted choice white).

This pic is not ideal regarding color

Hope this helps, nice one :)

james_lohr's picture

Thanks Inertia, your feedback is very useful.

With regard to the difficulty: the beauty of using the Elo rating system is that players will reach a stable rating and be paired up against other players of similar ability. However, you make a very good point: it's no fun playing it for t he first time and losing 10 games before you reach a suitable difficulty. What I might implement is an initial 5 placement games (much like Sc2) which does something akin to a binary search in order to find the players initial rating. I'll also put a few more "dumb" AIs in there so that there's a bigger spectrum of difficulties.

There is going to be a story mode, complete with tutorial which should give a very gradual learning curve to the game. I must confess that, as a gamer, I'm strongly against games that adjust the difficulty automatically in a way that is hidden from the user. A good example is Skyrim, which was a huge disappointment to me precisely because it did this (well, it adjusted the level of the monsters, normalising the difficulty of the game from start to finish). Instead I prefer games to start gradual, and if they detect that the player is very good, they suggest skipping the tutorials, or allow progression through the early stages at a quicker rate so that the experienced players can a) feel that they are "awesome" by getting through it quickly, and b) reach challenging content sooner. But I think you're absolutely right and in it's current state, it's not fun for beginners.

This may be superficial, but I think the menus will be alot more welcoming if you decrease the backgrounds brightness (so it really is a background and does not fight for attention with the letters) and change the font to a yellow/gold/brownish color (keep highlighted choice white).

Yes, I totally agree. Particularly for the trails on the leader board: blue against blue is very hard to see.

flopoloco's picture

This is amazing! Good job.