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My Picross game - Picrastination


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As a big fan of Picross e, Picross e2, Picross e3, Picross e4, Picross e5, Picross e6, Picross e7, Picross S, Mario's Picross, Super Mario's Picross, The Legend of Zelda Picross and Pokémon Picross, I feel this might be a game I could enjoy.

 

So yeah, I'd give a key a go.

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Looks damn good. However, I simply cannot play Picross on anything other than a handheld and preferably one with buttons rather than pure touch screen. (Or with pencil and paper). So I'll have to pass. Will share it about when it is out though, because it'd be great to see more puzzle games do well. 

 

Do Slitherlink next ;)

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Much like dekay, I've played every picross on Nintendo machines at least twice through, so I'd definitely be interested.

Especially if there's less than the normal amount of almost totally pointless 5x5 puzzles. 

I've not checked the trailer yet but I'm not much of a fan of micross so hopefully it's more 'traditional'.

Good work on making it though!

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Love Picross, the whole range of them are my most played games on my 3DS, so good luck with this, and would love a key!

 

Ah, but I see its Windows only and I'm a Mac person, so would be a waste of a key using it on me. Hope this goes well for you though, everybody needs more picross in their lives

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Like deKay and b00dles I’ve played many Picross games and I’m always interested in more puzzles.

 

I noticed in the trailer there are 25x25 puzzles which is great as most of the games I’ve played max out at 20x25. Do they get bigger than that?

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Thanks for the feedback everybody. It's really heartening to read. Against conventional wisdom I've kept this quiet, not shown it to anybody until it was pretty much done (I was the only person who'd played it up until a few days ago), so it's a real relief to finally get some fresh eyes on it. 

 

14 hours ago, b00dles said:

Much like dekay, I've played every picross on Nintendo machines at least twice through, so I'd definitely be interested.

Especially if there's less than the normal amount of almost totally pointless 5x5 puzzles. 

I've not checked the trailer yet but I'm not much of a fan of micross so hopefully it's more 'traditional'.

Good work on making it though!

 

There are 32 each of tiny, small, and medium puzzles, and 40 of large and huge. When I first started it was going to be 32 of each, and I liked the symmetry, but I kept thinking up ideas for larger puzzles, so expanded them. I would have considered culling a few of the weaker ones perhaps, but I didn't want to change the puzzle numbering in case I made mistakes (there are a few where the number of the puzzle ties in to the picture it uses etc.). 32 5x5s is probably overkill because they're stupidly simple, but I'm hoping the captions help make them worthwhile, and some of them unlock new colours and sounds etc. so hopefully it's not too much of a bore. Also, you can play all but the very last puzzle right from the start, so you don't have to clear them to move on to anything bigger.

 

9 hours ago, Vorgot said:

Love Picross, the whole range of them are my most played games on my 3DS, so good luck with this, and would love a key!

 

Ah, but I see its Windows only and I'm a Mac person, so would be a waste of a key using it on me. Hope this goes well for you though, everybody needs more picross in their lives

 

It's been made in Unity, so I will be looking to port to Mac and Linux as soon as I can (in theory it should just work...). If I can find time I'll try to get them launching together. So at some point I need to find testers for those versions (I don't have either) so I'll let you know when I have a build ready.

 

4 hours ago, DAB said:

Like deKay and b00dles I’ve played many Picross games and I’m always interested in more puzzles.

 

I noticed in the trailer there are 25x25 puzzles which is great as most of the games I’ve played max out at 20x25. Do they get bigger than that?

 

25 x 25 is as large as I went for individual puzzles. I can't actually remember why I never tried any larger originally, but now I think performance might be an issue. It sounds daft because it looks like such a simple game, but getting the clues working properly was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and it's actually computationally quite expensive as the puzzles get larger. In brief, when you select a puzzle the game has to go through each row and column and work out every possible correct combination of cells that fit the clues, to store for later. Then, when the player changes a cell, the code has to check the status of the whole row and column that's been changed against all the possible correct solutions stored earlier. If it finds a match then the change is potentially correct in that row or column, if it doesn't then it has to be wrong, so all the clues can revert to show you it's wrong. On a 25x25 grid some clues are creating over 20, 000 correct combinations to trawl through. I shudder to think what that would go up to adding 5 extra squares to the mix.

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33 minutes ago, deKay said:

@MarkN I'd prefer a Mac version too (booting into Bootcamp just to play a game is a pain) so if you're able to get a Mac build I'd happily test it for you.

 

No problem. I'll look at getting a build made shortly. Thinking about it. it would be nice to get a quick heads-up on if there are any major issues so I know what I'm letting myself in for (I think it should be relatively painless except for one thing, which I need to re-do on the PC anyway). 

 

32 minutes ago, deKay said:

Oh, and is it mouse only or are the controller or keyboard options?

 

Currently mouse-only. It's one of those calls I made early on to keep things simple, and I kind of regret it now, but also know it will be a pain. Hmm - thinking out loud I was assuming all 3 controls would be live at once, but it would be much easier if there was simply an option to switch between control modes, so only 1 could be active at any time. Would that be suitable?

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24 minutes ago, MarkN said:

 

No problem. I'll look at getting a build made shortly. Thinking about it. it would be nice to get a quick heads-up on if there are any major issues so I know what I'm letting myself in for (I think it should be relatively painless except for one thing, which I need to re-do on the PC anyway). 

 

 

Currently mouse-only. It's one of those calls I made early on to keep things simple, and I kind of regret it now, but also know it will be a pain. Hmm - thinking out loud I was assuming all 3 controls would be live at once, but it would be much easier if there was simply an option to switch between control modes, so only 1 could be active at any time. Would that be suitable?

 

I'd only ever use dpad if that were an option so yeah, no need to swap.

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2 hours ago, MarkN said:

 

It's been made in Unity, so I will be looking to port to Mac and Linux as soon as I can (in theory it should just work...). If I can find time I'll try to get them launching together. So at some point I need to find testers for those versions (I don't have either) so I'll let you know when I have a build ready.

 

More than happy to do some testing once you have a Mac version, just give me a shout!

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Alrighty - I'll get keys sent out tomorrow to folks who want the PC version - looks like there's no need to make a draw, so I'll PM everyone who wants one so far. I've got a couple of quick fixes to make beforehand, so I'll get a new build sorted first then get the keys sent out, probably in the afternoon. 

 

I'll try to get a Mac version up and running too, but I've got a few other things to do that take priority so no guarantees it'll be tomorrow.

 

I'll definitely get to work on alternate controls after that - I can't believe I hadn't thought of just making it a hard and fast choice before now - that's so much easier than I was imagining. (I can be so very dim at times.) "Mouse OR pad OR keyboard" is so much easier than "mouse AND pad AND keyboard".

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OK - I'm about to start sending PMs with the keys for the PC version to those that looked like they wanted them. If you get one and didn't want it please pass it on to someone who might like it. If you've already posted and I missed you let me know. I think the Mac version will be tomorrow now.

 

OK then - please feel free to throw bugs and feedback at me - and don't pull any punches - I can take it. If you want to discuss game content, please spoiler it (maybe mention level numbers outside so that people know what's safe to read).

 

As a bit of background, I've basically made a game for myself here, so you're not expected to get all of the references - a handful are quite obscure (I figure people who get the more obscure ones will really appreciate them, and that appeals to me).

 

Enjoy. :)

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Quick first impressions - very positive! I just went through the tiny set and into small, and had a go at the daily challenge, which I choked on massively to start with somehow. Nice feedback on the tiles, enjoying the references. Some of the colour schemes are a bit eye-watering but that's what the customisation is for (would be nice to be able to exclude some from the random option maybe). Thanks for the hardware mouse - essential :) 

 

I'm not the fastest Picross player in the world so the par times have me sweating a bit, but I like that there doesn't seem to be a time penalty for mistakes.

 

Very good work, and thanks for the key :)

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12 minutes ago, Sabreman said:

Quick first impressions - very positive! I just went through the tiny set and into small, and had a go at the daily challenge, which I choked on massively to start with somehow. Nice feedback on the tiles, enjoying the references. Some of the colour schemes are a bit eye-watering but that's what the customisation is for (would be nice to be able to exclude some from the random option maybe). Thanks for the hardware mouse - essential :) 

 

I'm not the fastest Picross player in the world so the par times have me sweating a bit, but I like that there doesn't seem to be a time penalty for mistakes.

 

Very good work, and thanks for the key :)

Thanks a lot.

 

Yes, the randomisation thing is something I'd now like to revisit. I did consider doing a multiple select thing, so that you could pick your favourites and let it choose from them, but felt it would be hard to explain (but then that was before I put in screens of text when you first meet new features). Will add it to the list.

 

The par times are hopefully handled sensibly. The Tiny levels are a little on the cheeky side because once you've played them you should be able to remember the pattern, rather than having to solve it - so I made them a tad tricky (although I failed 4 times to hit one earlier, so they're still up for change - especially since I'm going to be adding pad/keyboard control - that might mean drastic changes tbh). The larger/trickier the puzzles get the more lenient the times become because it's less fun to replay them. There are a few exceptions where puzzles are memorably-shaped, so have quite a challenging time, but hopefully not enough to be annoying.  (The only reward for all stars is an achievement though, so getting the lot is for completionists only).

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Many thanks firstly and well done secondly :D

 

I really like the 'flipping' and sound feedback, the puns and the pictures behind them are nice and different after Nintendo re using stuff like, I dunno, top hat over and over.

I like the non square shapes, the general blocky text and slightly retro feel is good but it's just a little bit weird playing it on a 55" TV with a mouse. I'd have probably finished the whole thing if I had it on 3DS or switch :P

 

I'll play it some more this weekend but what sort of feedback do you want/ need? I'm assuming mainly check if we find any bugs more than anything?

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41 minutes ago, b00dles said:

Many thanks firstly and well done secondly :D

 

I really like the 'flipping' and sound feedback, the puns and the pictures behind them are nice and different after Nintendo re using stuff like, I dunno, top hat over and over.

I like the non square shapes, the general blocky text and slightly retro feel is good but it's just a little bit weird playing it on a 55" TV with a mouse. I'd have probably finished the whole thing if I had it on 3DS or switch :P

 

I'll play it some more this weekend but what sort of feedback do you want/ need? I'm assuming mainly check if we find any bugs more than anything?

Thanks for the feedback. Some of the audio themes are quite fun (if I do say so myself). The captions are the thing that tipped me over the edge into actually making the game. I was only dabbling with Picross because my other project was going nowhere. It was really quick to get up and running, but I put in a few 5x5 puzzles and - well - the images you can make that small are all a bit dull. And I think it was probably the one that looked a bit like a handbag, and I just heard the classic quote from Importance of Being Earnest in my head -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyuoUwxCLMs - and suddenly I'd found a hook that would make this a bit different. (A few of the 5x5s are quite obscure, and one or two are perhaps the weakest in the game, but on the flipside there's a few I'm really pleased with too.) And then I just ran with adding puns and references all through the game, from the colour schemes to the level names on the level select screen etc.

As to other feedback - bugs would be great, or any features you find awkward, or think are missing, or would like to see. (I'm just about to look at adding mouse assist to keep the cursor in the row or column you're working on, because that's been flagged up). Thoughts on the tutorial would be good too - I've kept it super brief, and I'm not sure if I overdid it or not. Anything beyond that I'd still love to hear, but those are the areas I'm focussing on. 

 

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I skipped the tutorial as I've played loads of picross but I'll give it a look.

 

The other thing (which could be an option, I've not checked) is the time penalty for getting a square wrong isn't activated. Although that is also a good thing if the 'row lock' you mention isn't on for mouse control.

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1 minute ago, b00dles said:

I skipped the tutorial as I've played loads of picross but I'll give it a look.

 

The other thing (which could be an option, I've not checked) is the time penalty for getting a square wrong isn't activated. Although that is also a good thing if the 'row lock' you mention isn't on for mouse control.

One other thing - thoughts on the tone of the tutorial would be good. I kept it chatty and informal. Did that work? Too much? Was it fun?

 

I've seriously not considered putting in a time penalty. I'm not sure it's needed. So now that becomes something I'd definitely like feedback on from as many folk as possible. I could easily add it as an option, but all it does is add an additional punishment to having made a mistake, which has slown you down already. On a 25x25 grid one late mistake that made you miss the par time by a couple of seconds would be a bit of a wounder, I think.

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