Recent posts by Lysis on Kongregate

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Topic: Collaborations / Your music in games

Yes, kind of. I would like tracks to be in sections, which can be played in different orders. If they are completely interchangable i.e. each one can loop, or seamlessly follow any other in the set, that’s ideal. Even a bit more restrictive than that would be fine.

Thank you to everyone who has pm’d me – I think I’ve now contacted you all. (If not, tell me again.) I hope you are still interested in my project. I’m quite excited about it – it could be really big.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Your music in games

(This is crossposted from the music forum, since I think they have fairly separate populations of users.)

I make flash games, and had an idea for … not a game, but a system to do with music in games.
I don’t want to go into details on a public forum yet, but obviously if you are a suitable contributor I will explain fully.
This is a commercial undertaking; you would receive a (sizable) share of the profits. (Or you could sell me a royalty-free exclusive licence, but I don’t have money to split many ways; I think you’ll almost certainly get a better deal with royalties.)

Obviously I don’t know how lucrative this will be, but I’ve investigated the technical side and don’t think there are any unsurmountable difficulties.

So what I need is music. Lots of music. But – there are conditions:

In the starting off phase, I’ve decided to concentrate on music suitable for puzzle games. This doesn’t rule out any particular genre, but it does need to have the right feel to it. It’ll have to be something I like to get used, at least until the system fully takes off.

The music must be entirely your own work. This means not even using a tune by another artist. If I take your music, I probably should get you to sign something to confirm this.

The music will ideally be be in sections, which can be played in a variety of orders. If you want an example of how this works, see my game Rocket Racers – the music is ‘endless’. Theres a little leeway on this, but if you can’t manage that let me know beforehand.

Annoyingly the system won’t be available on Kongregate in at least the short to medium term (because they don’t allow any micropayments except for their own, and don’t provide all the services). But if it is successful this is something I’d look in to.

So, if you’re interested, can make great music and can live with these conditions then please do contact me. I don’t want to waste your time so please, don’t send bespoke work yet – if you have a portfolio or unused work (in confidence), let me see. Please contact me privately by Kongregate whisper.

Thank you for your time.

 
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Topic: Off-topic / Your music in games

I make flash games, and had an idea for … not a game, but a system to do with music in games.
I don’t want to go into details on a public forum yet, but obviously if you are a suitable contributor I will explain fully.
This is a commercial undertaking; you would receive a (sizable) share of the profits. (Or you could sell me a royalty-free exclusive licence, but I don’t have much money; I think you’ll almost certainly get a better deal with royalties.)

Obviously I don’t know how lucrative this will be, but I’ve investigated the technical side and don’t think there are any unsurmountable difficulties.

So what I need is music. Lots of music. But – there are conditions:

In the starting off phase, I’ve decided to concentrate on music suitable for puzzle games. This doesn’t rule out any particular genre, but it does need to have the right feel to it. It’ll have to be something I like to get used, at least at first.

The music must be entirely your own work. This means not even using a tune by another artist. If I take your music, I probably should get you to sign something to confirm this.

The music will ideally be be in sections, which can be played in a variety of orders. If you want an example of how this works, see my game Rocket Racers – the music is ‘endless’. Theres a little leeway on this, but if you can’t manage that let me know beforehand.

Annoyingly the system won’t be available on Kongregate in at least the short to medium term (because they don’t allow any micropayments except for their own, and don’t provide all the services). But if it is successful this is something I’d look in to.

So, if you’re interested, can make great music and can live with these conditions then please do contact me. I don’t want to waste your time so please, don’t send bespoke work yet – if you have a portfolio or unused work (in confidence), let me see. Please contact me privately by Kongregate whisper.

Thank you for your time.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Two (or more) graphics stills required for near-complete game

Okay, so I have had a bit of difficulty finishing this project – the graphics designer was unable to do a couple of things for some reason. This is a shame – he did a great job on the in-game graphics. But development has stalled for some time – I should apologise to some of the beta-testing offers – I know I didn’t contact you all.

I need: a title screen and an ending screen drawing in a cheerful style. Doesn’t have to be lifelike, doesn’t need to match the pixel-art style of the rest of the game.
If you can draw with coloured pencils, charcoal, oilpaint or indeed some form of handicraft or a collage, that would be great. A different art style would be ideal! All I require is that it’s you’re own work, so you can legally give me permission to use it.

As you’ll have seen above, the theme is ‘bugs’, so you’ll need to be able to draw them.

If you are willing, I could use extra images for a longer end sequence, or smaller (and perhaps rougher) images for interval screens which are displayed every few levels.

Payment – I can pay, or we could arrange some form of trade – let me know what you would require. You will of course be credited on a credits screen in the game.

If you’re interested please do contact me and show me any examples of your work in any style you’d like to do. By all means email as I describe above, if you want to keep things private.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Seriously?

There’s been more than one successful collaboration. I found someone who drew gorgeous title-screen graphics for Rocket Racers on here, for example. Not a particularly major collab, but I’ve got something else in the works which just needs a bit more help finishing off… (just about to post a new request).

A simple ‘sticky’ thread where people could post a note about their collaborating game releases might give a decent impression of the success rate, and would not involve a major rewrite of the forum system or constant maintainance.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

I hope I can respond to both those arguments very briefly – because I think for the main part we basically agree.

I’m certainly not criticising your ratings Illucoran. You don’t need to defend yourself.

Yes, there are lots of griefers who go around rating everything 1 – we can ignore them because they’re irrelevant. I’m writing to the intelligent gamers who want to rate things sensibly. And all I really want is for you to know a bit more about how your vote is working. I assume you want to encourage production of games you like.

Provided your rating scheme starts at 1 for rubbish and ends at 5 for great, you’re doing well(*). I just have the impression that many commenters have a ‘humped’ representation. Low points are given for rubbish, then it goes up to 4 for average games, then back to 3 for games they like but want minor improvements in, then back up to 4 and 5 again for games which are near-perfect.

I don’t think reuploading is anywhere near as beneficial as people suggest. The games tend to be rated significantly worse, even for the second upload. Just look at the ‘Fold’ vs ‘Manifold’ debacle. Probably because people expect a sequel rather than improvements.

(*) Just bear in mind that if you rate punitively and mostly play a particular genre, you’re basically voting against new titles in that genre.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

Let’s say you’re a developer who made a TD game, you got 3.17 and a number of comments that said that the game looked great but it was really same old, same old and got boring quickly. Now, you can stop making TDs because it’s obviously pointless… or you could try making a different TD but this time think of how you could make the gameplay more interesting.

If a game is ‘average’ – rate it average. That’s perfect. I’m absolutely not asking for leniency!

But if a game is amazing, but you completed it and are eager for more, or has some fantastic new game mechanic, but needs a few minor tweaks – then rate it highly – ideally a 5 on Kong. Because as soon as you take points off for shortness, you’ve damaged the game’s chances. A game absolutely needs a proportion of fives to get a decent score. Votes of 4 are only barely above the cutoff, so they don’t make much positive difference. Three is quite a way below, so it drags the average down.

I too like to see suggestions about what could be improved. Please do keep right on saying how you feel about games. Even poor comments are useful in aggregate. Asking for more features is what I imagine most devs are interested in.

This really is just something to think about. I just want players to know how their behaviour may be harming their own interests.
Simply put, the bar for quality is quite high, and the margin between success and failure is very small. So any score penalisation at the high end is very harsh. Games which fail are much less likely to be improved or see sequels. So if you want to see changes or a sequel, you do need to give the game a break.

What might happen if large numbers of people give their interesting games a five rather than a four? Would this be beneficial or not? Well, presumably the same number of games would get badges and front-paged etc. The average game score ought to go up a little – but it may not, if people rate average or low-quality games a little more harshly.
So you might say – very little change. But what I would predict is that there would be more interesting games in the high scorers. We’d see more of the games which some people loved than the ones which tick all the boxes and so didn’t fail people’s bullet-pointed ‘quality’ filter.
These games may only get high scores for a short while – as soon as a game is frontpaged, it can be rated down quite quickly. But the signal to that developer is still “people love your game; it got frontpaged” rather than “your game is average – don’t bother with that sequel you were planning”.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

My ‘system’? I think of it more as a suggestion. Something to consider when deciding on a rating.

Anyway, I don’t see how it is contradictory – It kind of makes my point.

It’s not worth my time changing the game to people’s requests because the score isn’t going to go up by enough to suddenly make the game a hit.

Oh hang on – I think I see. You’re talking about this:

Rate according to what’s there – not what’s not there."

You’re saying that if a mute button is essential for your enjoyment of a game then you’d be justified in rating a game down (if it wasn’t present). Well, that’s fair enough in a sense.
This is the pitfall of trying to boil an argument down to a short phrase. I wasn’t intending to suggest that you shouldn’t rate games down if they were buggy, or missing essential features, or whatever. I meant that if you love a game and want more of it – more levels, more modes of play or some extra content of any description, then you probably ought to express that fact. I see comments like ‘too short’ all over the place – and a blog entry for a developer who experienced this. Seriously, read that. See his horror over a drop to 3.6? He realised what was going on, and was in a position to do something about it – it was just a teaser. How many devs have experienced similar and said “ah, fsck it, I’ll do something else” and abandoned game series which gamers were actually eager for more of? We just don’t know.

You may think that you’re saying “This game is too short – I’d rate higher if it were longer”. But actually your low rating is equivalent to “I don’t like this game much”.

As a group, you ‘punish’ good games at your peril.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Some practical anti-cheating suggestions

I think high-score cheating harms legitimate players in various ways. It harms the games, too, and damages Kongregate’s differentiation strategy.

If we work on the basis that most score hackers are doing so routinely, then I propose that there’s a way Kong. could help itself. If it were possible to flag values of some stats as evidence of cheating, then detection could be automated to a greater degree.
For example, a game might have three stats, with transfer names like ‘hi1’,‘hi2’,‘hi3’.

  • hi1=score in easy mode
  • hi2=reports a cheater when greater than zero.
  • hi3=score in hard mode.

The game would track score using two or more variables (one in clear, one EORred with some random number), and send the hi2 stat if they didn’t match.

This way each game can do it a different way, and hackers are scared off because they may be caught out by hacking any game. And they wouldn’t find out which games had flagged them.

Any game which flagged people by mistake due to programming error could be removed from the system.

You’d still need multiple lines of evidence to prevent abuse by unscrupulous developers, but I think it might help a lot. I can’t say how difficult it would be to develop code to do this, but as these things go I believe it would be relatively simple – the stat system is already implemented.

Incidentally, at least one of my games can detect and flag cheating behaviour. Try to hack it and the chances are your name will go up on a special score table titled “Cheaters”. So score-hackers beware – you may be publicly outed if you try anything on with my games.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

You talking about my recent game? It has a mute button on the title page. Feel free to turn the music off if you don’t like either music track. Then rate it 5/5 for the absence of annoying loud music, of course. ;-)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

Look, it’s not rocket surgery (*)

If you love a game and want more like it, let the dev know with your vote.

I’m not forcing anyone to do anything – I just want you as players to understand that when you aggressively penalise minor failings in your favourite games, you’re potentially preventing further development.

2.8 to 3.17 : Effectively no change for most intents and purposes. Get it up above 3.7 and then post back here.

(*) That’s a joke.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

Originally posted by AioriaRox:

Rate according to what’s there – not what’s not there.

Contradicting yourself?

No.

The point is – don’t say “The game is great/fantastic/okay/whatever; I’d like the game to have X, so N-1 points”. That just doesn’t work, because the developer then sees an average aggregate rating (say – around 3.2) and goes off to do something else.

So instead, say: “The game is great/fantastic/okay/whatever; N points.” If you really, really want, you can then also say “I’d really like to see X, so N+1 points as encouragement. Make a sequel”. The developer then sees the higher rating (say 3.8), observes that this is the sort of game people want, and considers making a sequel, or adding extra modes, or whatever it is that people are requesting.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

Pfft. I think you’re misrepresenting my stance.

Rate according to what’s there – not what’s not there.

If a game is great, and you’d like more levels, extra modes or whatever, rating it down is a good way of preventing that from happening.

I absolutely know how notorious the Kong userbase is. That doesn’t mean it’s fixed – it can and should change! Letting the more intelligent users know how their behaviour feeds back into game development is part of that.

(AioriaRox – hah! :-)

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

Hey now, don’t blow a gasket. I clearly stated that this isn’t about my games.

I think I should point out though that ‘novel’ games are very difficult to evaluate. I didn’t plan on adding a ‘free-play’ mode to my game – hell, it just doesn’t make sense. If lots of people want something, I may add it – but if you pre-emptively rate the game down then it’s just much less likely to happen.

Look at the comment on Little wheel which I quoted above. (That isn’t my game). It’s been dropped two points for being ‘too short’. That’s pretty extreme, but I see a lot of comments stating that they’re going from 5 to 4, or 4 to 3 on the basis of often very minor points. Sometimes the poster says they like (or even love) the game and want a sequel. That drop may not sound like much – hey, it’s still above average, right? – but the games are judged by their aggregate score. The difference between 3.25 and 3.75 is the difference between success and failure in terms popularity on Kongregate. If the people who love a game don’t rate it highly enough to counteract the hoards of 1/5 everything losers then there’s no chance.

Guess what? Failed games don’t get sequels!

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

Here are some genuine, unedited comments on a recent game of mine.

“love the game , although it needs more levels , good sound , game concept , but also needs freeplay and maybe sandbox , 4/5 "

“it will be one of the best games that i have played… if it had freeplay :/ "

“Awesome, original concept. Needs more levels and sandbox especially.”

here’s one more, for balance:

“I suggest people stop making every new game either piece of crap or puzzzle game or I am going to go on a banhammer rampage”

I think it’s fair to say that this game had generally very positive comments, with people wanting more of it. But the rating doesn’t match that, it’s currently at 3.13. For it to actually get played enough to be worthwhile games need to be over 3.7 (Greg’s badge cutoff).

There were many requests for a free-play mode, which I did go on to add – but as I say, I was basically wasting my time, the rating hasn’t changed appreciably. People also wanted other significant improvements like level designers etc.

But I’ve just made the mistake of refering to my own game, which makes me sound like I’m complaining about its treatment. I’m not – I’m talking about the general case. I’ve seen many comments in other people’s games which do the same thing. Here’s an example about the game “Little Wheel”:

“Well first I gave it 5/5… then I thought for a sec and switched to 4/5. And during typing this text (some below) I switched to 3/5 rating. I absolutely love the art style. Not the first game to show such a style but still it looks great. However the game is MUCH MUCH to simple and short. Its so obvious what to click and do in each screen. I think that speaks for itself. So for both being way to simple and short (mainly the simple factor) I deduct 2 points. Final rating 3/5. Continue this game with a more challenging version please.”

Little Wheel didn’t suffer too much from this one nob-end, but it’s clearly going to have an effect for the intermediate games if the people who love it, finish it and want more give it an average rating.

You’re right, Illucoran, in that you do have to exercise judgement – perhaps I should have mentioned that explicitly.

I realise that people are here for fun – actually I think I was pretty clear that this is really directed at games you like enought to want to see improve, so you can have even more fun with them.

I guess the basic take-home message is: Don’t deduct a point for each missing feature in games you love.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

That’s true, there is the updated games thread. However, I suspect that it has a negligable effect. Most other developers seem to think the same, as there’s only a few pages of updated games listed.

To make a difference it would have to be read on a regular basis – and acted on – by a sizable proportion of the active user-base The page-views (currently 22,941) don’t support even the first requirement.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / A recommendation for games players

This is a general point I’d like you to consider when rating games.
Please think of this as a suggestion to you – I’m not ordering you about, it’s just something I’d like to bring to your attention. Feel free to not do as I propose. Think about it and do what you think is right.

With a game I released recently, I got a lot of comments requesting improvements – which also mentioned that they were rating the game down because of their absence. Now you may think that this makes sense – but it is rather counterproductive. To find out why you need to think about it from the developer’s perspective. Once a game has received a number of ratings, the average score is very unlikely to move in any direction but down.

If it’s rated anything less than highly, then it is effectively buried and won’t receive very many new ratings. The few that it does get are irrelevant because they’re buffered by the hundreds it’s already got. If it is rated well then it gets front-paged, lots of new people play it etc. (And of course if they don’t like it, the score can go down – that’s a separate issue.)

So – from the developer’s perspective, any average rating lower than about 3.7 on Kongregate is almost a total failure. There’s basically no chance of improving the score (outside of cheating) – because noone will see any changes you make.

For this reason, if you deduct points for further things you’d like to see, then basically you’re preventing them from happening. I suppose that this is true for the great majority of developers. Why waste time on a failure when you could do something else which might not fail?

Therefore, I have a recommendation. If you think a game shows potential, but would like to see improvements, rate it highly. By all means comment that you’re hoping for changes (and say what you want), and will re-rate the game later. Of course you should then do so. Allow enough time for any changes you want to actually be made.

 
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Topic: Technical Support / Game upload broken

No error reported, it just never progressed. I’d tried several times, sometimes leaving it a significant amount of time (half an hour or so).

But I tried again later, and it worked. Must have been some sort of temporary glitch with the Kong. servers I guess.

Thanks for the suggestions though Phoenix – I appreciate the diagnostic approach.

I’m waiting for my game to get panned as we speak.

 
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Topic: Technical Support / Game upload broken

I’ve been trying to upload a game I made.

After entering the information on the ‘step 1’ page I click the continue button. It starts to animate but never progresses to the next page.
The icon filepath I entered also disappears.

I see there are games uploaded today so either this broke recently or it’s just me. I’m using IE8 on windows XP. My internet connection seems fine.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Beta Testing...

I got this shout in my profile:

I noticed you had some beta testers on a game recently…I also need some beta testers, but I don’t know how to let them test the game w/o actually releasing it. Please tell me how it works by whisper or at this forum:
http://www.kongregate.com/forums/3/topics/43837

There isn’t (as far as I know) a Kongregate beta-testing facility for general use. Some developers used to post their games on Kong. describing it as a beta, and hope for useful feedback, but that’s not something I’d recommend any more, and particularly not if you want to get your game sponsored.

As you’ve now got a nice list of people willing to test, you’ve got a couple of possibilities. One is to email them all a copy of the game swf (and a wrapper html file so they can play it in their browser) – or something I’ve just thought of, and build an executable version.
The alternative (which is what I do now) is to sitelock the game and load it up to a hidden page on my website. If you don’t have a website, use a hosting service which lets you a)upload swf files, and b) delete files. IMGboot.com does this at the moment. It seems that hosting sites go through a phase of letting you do it, then disallow flash when they get popular.

HTH. Good luck.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Two (or more) graphics stills required for near-complete game

Okay, thanks guys. I’m just waiting on some graphics to get the thing a bit closer to completion, then I’ll email you a link. Hopefully that won’t be very long.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Two (or more) graphics stills required for near-complete game

Beta testers required

So this project has grown a little. However, the game is now mostly complete (the menu interface still needs some work). As such the game is not on Kongregate yet.

This is a screenshot which has been resized slightly:

So I’m looking for some beta testers. You don’t have to be hardcore – if you’re a casual gamer that’s great. You will need to be able to play the game and tell me how you feel about the game after 1 minute of play, and again after at least 10 minutes. I’m looking for constructive criticism, not just to know that it sucks – so if you habitually rate games 1/5 please don’t bother.

Please email me at lysisgames&googlemail.com (replace the & with the curly-a ‘at’ symbol to get a valid email address), and tell me how you’d self-rate your gaming skills.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / Switch statements[Solved]

Not necessarily just the one variable…

switch(true) {
case (myvar1= =1 && myvar2= =5):
//stuff
break;//don’t forget this fella!
case (myvar3==myvar4):
//and so on…
break;
default:
// more stuff
break;
};

Cool eigh?

Edit : God I hate this forum’s formatting. hang on while I try to salvage the damn thing.
oh FFS. pre tag doesn’t prevent munging, code tag doesn’t… figure it out yourself.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Two (or more) graphics stills required for near-complete game

I’ve now been contacted by someone – I’ll update with how it turns out.

 
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Topic: Collaborations / Two (or more) graphics stills required for near-complete game

(Updated thread – please see my latest post for current details)

Previous title: Beta-testers required on a small(ish) project

Previous, previous title: Pixel artist required for small project

So I’ve made a few games – you can see some of them here on Kongregate.

I’ve made a start on what I plan to be a short project which is based on a (very) old classic game. It’s a strange sort of racing platformer on one screen, and in many ways quite basic. But the catch of gameplay is there.

To maximise this game’s potential what I need is a graphic artist who can draw a few (about ten or twenty) 32×32 pixel sprites. To fit with the gameplay they will need to be in a bright and cheerful style. I haven’t decided on a theme for it exactly, so you will be able to make suggestions or take it off in your own direction. The obvious theme would be vehicles and stationary obstacles like trees and houses. But alternatives would be most welcome – for example, one thing I’d like would be small creatures like beetles, spiders, snails and bumblebees.

I’m in it for the money (as well as the love) – so you can be too, although I can’t pay much since it isn’t much work. I could do 10% of net sponsorship profits (that is, I’d first take off agent fees and other costs like music) – which obviously depends on the game getting sponsored. Or I could do something like $20 on delivery. Payment by paypal would be easy I think, or I can post a cheque in UK pounds. You’d get a credit in the game somewhere of course.

I’d like to get this done quickly so if you can do all or part of it over the next few days that would be brilliant.

If you think you’d be a help in playtesting that’d be great too.
If you’re interested please contact lysisgames&googlemail.com (replace the & with the curly-a ‘at’ symbol to get a valid email address). Samples of previous work would be helpful.