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Notes from a Medium-Sized Island [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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[Nov. 18th, 2007|07:30 pm]

Tired today after two late nights in a row, but the event was pretty fun all in all. If you happen to have pygame installed, grab
and run python on

The game is called "Head cat".

I am super loopy now.

[User Picture]From: combinator
2007-11-19 04:18 am (UTC)
Hey, I like the game, kinda like an "automated lemmings", but the lack of documentation is killing me. I managed to find out what most of the conditions were, but the "shrugging robot" orange circle confuses me. I am guessing this was a requirement as nobody is going to write documentation for the many foreign languages this will be distributed to, and many young children will not yet be literate anyway.

The biggest point of confusion for me was the "combo of two conditions". It was hard to know what the conditions represented. I think the number one help here would be icons at the top of the screen indicating what conditions the robot is currently encountering, and a slight pause whenever the condition changes, along with some kind of sound. This would be my most requested feature.

Also, depending on the conditions, each of the two illustrations has a different meaning. Because of this, I think you should combine it into a single set of conditions, which would allow much less ambiguity in the illustrations.

I think that some kind of pictorial instructions would help. Each combo condition should be illustrated with an animation, where that single condition is selected and the user can watch it take effect. But this is less important than the first two suggestions.

Because of the lack of docs, it's difficult to say whether any behavior I encountered was a bug. I found that after screwing around for a while, one of my actions disappeared, and only reappeared when I restarted the game.
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[User Picture]From: jcreed
2007-11-19 03:46 pm (UTC)
I agree the lack of documentation is pretty bad. The idea was of course that the first few levels would serve as some kind of tutorial explaining wordlessly what each of the thingies do, but we really would need still more constraints on what you can do in a given robot-brain to make that effective.

The robot-in-orange-circle means "[detect] another robot".
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From: lambdacalculus
2007-11-19 08:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, we had planned to indicate visually when a rule was triggered, which would have helped a lot. But there was only so much we could fit into two days with three people! I think I will probably spend some time adding a bit of polish and a few more puzzles, because I think it's close to great. I don't think it would be a good idea to merge conditions, because part of the point of this is to teach precisely that concept (this suggestion coming from a dude with lj name "combinator"??).

Jason: the zip file includes .svn directories (so it is twice as big as it needs to be) and all sorts of other garbages, like the Flash source files!
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[User Picture]From: combinator
2007-11-20 06:39 am (UTC)
Hey, it is a neat game, and I hope you continue to refine it.

Regarding the non merging of conditions, maybe you could show a combo illustration? Something like [x] + [y] = [z] where the [n]s are illustrations, and you can only control [x] and [y].
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[User Picture]From: gwillen
2007-11-19 05:16 am (UTC)
Head cat! <3
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