Archive for February 10th, 2010

Stargrazing with less lag

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Several people have mentioned that later levels of Stargrazing suffer from very slow framerates on their computer. I’ve compiled another version, with a faster but sloppier rendering engine, playable here. This should help substantially with lag issues.

Game 03: Color Meltdown

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Kind of a strange story to this one. I wanted to make a puzzle game that was specifically not Bejeweled or Tetris – it seems that there hasn’t been a lot of innovation in puzzle game mechanics lately, and I wanted to do my part to contribute to exploring the field a bit. I came up with a core mechanic and did some experimentation with variations on the theme – clearing the board Collapse-style, or building patterns from scratch – and it just fundamentally wasn’t fun.

By Sunday I was ready to chalk it up as a failed experiment and switch over to my backup-plan game; I was making some final changes Monday night in order to make it a playable game rather than a toy (adding a timer and scoring), intending to post it to the site as a “B-side”. What somehow happened was I switched the game’s code over to “build patterns” mode while leaving the random board generation of “collapse” mode… and it actually worked as a game. I mean, it’s certainly no runaway hit like Bejeweled, but it’s solid and playable.

Tips for playing: Look for symmetrical-ish areas on the board, and use the color pieces you get to build them outward, then put a white piece in the central area. You gain one second of time for each tile that gets cleared beyond the first. Scoring is based on the square of your combo, so bigger patterns are much more valuable than smaller ones.

Go play Color Meltdown, and feel free to post your high scores in the comments!

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