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A Snake - please critique

02-14-2011, 02:45 AM
#1
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 515
A Snake - please critique

Hi All;

I'm interested in getting feedback of my free game A Snake from some of the other developers that hang out here.

I'm getting ready to start on a sequel, and it would be good to get an idea of the weak and strong points of the first game to start me off.

If you could point out weak points, bits you really like, why they are good or bad, and suggestions for improvements that would be very awesome.

02-14-2011, 03:32 AM
#2
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Oslo, Norway
Posts: 731
As I'm at my day job and my iPhone is actually filled to the brim I am unable to download your game at the moment. As it is Monday I'll deliver some critique anyway.

  1. It's snake - there's a gazillion snake games in the app store already
  2. The graphics are... not fantastic. (Mr. Ugly might phrase this slightly differently).
  3. It's snake! It's very hard to see why I should download this version rather than one of the others.

02-14-2011, 05:01 AM
#3
Hey Shen,

I downloaded and played your game for about ten mins. Quick critique then:

Strong points:
Nostalgia. Reminded me of being a youngster again.
Nice controls. Good implementation of touch controls without covering up the playing area of the screen.
Simple to pick up and play. I mean, who doesn't know how to play snake!

Weak areas:
Graphics. Get someone to do you some free graphics. I'm sure someone out there would give you an hour of their time if you asked nicely.
Repetition. All quite samey gameplay, even with the inclusion of power ups.

All in all though, it's an encouraging first step. For the next one, I'd say concentrate on what makes your app different to others of the same ilk. Maybe include another AI snake to battle against. Enemies to dodge? That kind of stuff. Look to other titles that you love for inspiration and see where that takes you. Throw in some crazy power ups. Try and do something with the graphics. Even a simplistic "line art" style could help the look of the game.

Hope this helps.
02-14-2011, 10:21 AM
#4
I remember downloading your game wayyyy back, and I really enjoyed it! I think the graphics could use improvements though. Try elance.com and you'll be surprised at all the talent you can find for cheap prices.

I make games at PixelCUBE Studios! Follow me @naveen_pcs
02-14-2011, 04:40 PM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 515
Thanks for the replies, you guys have raised some good points.

Here is my own 2 cents, to keep the ball rolling.

The main complaint from users has been the controls.

Lots of people have trouble with the default controls, which turn the snake clockwise or counter-clockwise.

I have a couple of (what I consider) good control methods, but it seems some people need the even popular d-pad.

Probably the best way to deal with it would be to add a double d-pad control system, like they have in pacman ce. Double d-pads so that users can switch from one to the other when down at the bottom of the screen, so they don't block the action.

I think didn't add them when I added the other control methods due to a stubborn streak, but now, I think that the visualization skills that are required to play using the default scheme are maybe too difficult for many of the younger people who are playing the game.

Also, I think maybe the options to change controls aren't seen by enough people.

If I was going to do more work on the game, I would move the control menu from the options screen to be part of starting each game, so the user is forced to see it each time they start playing. That would mean that there is less of a chance the users don't know about the many alternate control schemes.
02-14-2011, 10:09 PM
#6
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Berlin, Germany
Posts: 1,674
Quote:
Originally Posted by NickFalk View Post
[*]The graphics are... not fantastic. (Mr. Ugly might phrase this slightly differently).
hehe well no.. the graphics are simple.. 8 bit-ish ... so yes they are simple.. but at the end.. its snake..

it would be a tad nicer of the menue did not break completly with the games style..

but what i really didnt like (the reason i died in my single playtime).. i collected something a got a big white popup information at the bottom of the screen... covering my snake which ended up.. well bad.. my snake exploded!?

as for controls.. they are fine.. but i can see that people might "forget" what
and where to press.. maybee a very faint constant transparent overlay of the "buttons" would be helpfull.. at least such a feature toggleable (show/hide) would help beginners..

at the end.. well its a snake game.. *shrug*
02-14-2011, 11:02 PM
#7
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 515
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.Ugly View Post
it would be a tad nicer of the menu did not break completly with the games style..

but what i really didnt like (the reason i died in my single playtime).. i collected something a got a big white popup information at the bottom of the screen... covering my snake which ended up.. well bad.. my snake exploded!?

as for controls.. they are fine.. but i can see that people might "forget" what
and where to press.. maybee a very faint constant transparent overlay of the "buttons" would be helpfull.. at least such a feature toggleable (show/hide) would help beginners..
All good points.

I will need to remove/redesign the text pop ups for the next version, since it is going to be multi-player around 1 iPad, so text pop ups aren't viable; 3 players will be facing the wrong direction to read them.

I will think about how to bring the menus more in line with the rest of the art style, maybe replacing the blue menu background with the grass and wall play screen background.

With the controls, one of the control styles already has an outline on the main game to show where the buttons are, but the others don't.

I guess I could play around with having the other control schemes having an overlay that fades out slowly while playing.

Thanks for taking the time to try + reply.