Recent posts by momoguru on Kongregate

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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Rubber and Lead:
I like what you have going so far… clearly you already know it needs polished up a bit. maybe different sounds for enemy guns vs your guns. love the flame throwers out of the side. as far as the controls, not bad… didn’t struggle much to get the hang of things so i think that is fine. power ups? shields? armor boosters laying around. there is no reason to drive. nothing to collect. maybe the coins you collect by driving around you can spend on upgrades after finishing a level. better guns and cars and upgrades. i think the gameplay would be better if the car had a track that it was forced to stay on. maybe something more link spy hunter. driving in circles seems a bit boring. if you had a more linear track, you can control what the player will receive and when. overall, i liked it. be sure to keep us updated.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / A question about revenue

kongregate is very fair, and honest when it comes to your revenue. at one point, they sent me an email saying a mistake was made during the calculations of the ad share and sent me extra funds. not something i would expect from any other site. i would have never known i was shorted… they made things right on their own accord. if you earned it, you will be paid without a doubt. create a paypal account and link it up to your kongregate developer account, you are good to go. they will deposit money into your paypal once the revenue reaches a minimum of 25$.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

there we go, get some other dev vets in here helping out :) thanx GRninja.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / yo papa u shuld open a weederia

Originally posted by greg:

“Rotate the mouse clockwise to grind the herb!”

the funniest thing i have ever seen you post.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Unity and kong badges

i hate this argument… you are saying, ‘do not reward a developer for their hard work because I cannot enjoy it.’
it sounds like…
I’m deaf, so stop giving away gift cards for itunes.

ask yourself, are you the minority or majority. should everyone else suffer because you do?

have you tried this?
http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/unity-web-player-failed-to-update.164206/

seems to have worked for lots of people with this problem.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / Why your game is getting low ratings...

so i halfway thru the ‘art of screenshake video’ … a true testament to how the simple things make the game. the magic is in the details.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / Why your game is getting low ratings...

Okay, so as a solo developer, it can be very difficult to understand why players are rating your game low. Many of these players do not leave constructive comments, and the one that do are often overlooked. My other thread, ‘I want to play your game’ has prompted me to post this guide to help some of you other solo guys make better games that get the exposure they deserve on kongregate.

1) Game Window Size.
A good default size of your game is around 900 × 650. This will allow players with laptops and crappy monitors to see your entire game window without having to scroll around. If the player has to scroll their browser around just to see all the UI elements of your game, they will not play it for more than a few seconds. The best way to handle this is to start small, and allow the player to go full screen. Make sure the full screen toggle button is visible on right on the first screen. Not under game options somewhere, it has to be a one click fix or they will give up and leave you with 1 star.

2) Sound / Music and the Mute button.
Not all gamers on this site are 14 y/o kids. You have players who are parents with sleeping children, gamers with headphones turned up high. Players with nice sound systems. If they cannot turn off the sound in 1 click from the main screen… sometime their fastest option is to leave your game asap. Annoying repetitive looping music, poor editing that is not seamless, inconsistent volumes for music and or sound effects are all reasons to leave your game behind with a 1 star rating. Always give the user control of Sound effects and Music, with volume sliders and toggles, and dear god, get that MUTE button right on the first screen.

3) Graphics quality, Consistency.
Not all games have to be uber pretty. There are lots of games that have minimal graphics. If you go this route, the gameplay and mechanics better be on point. It is important that your graphical elements are consistent throughout the game. Don’t have a really nice homepage screen with nice graphics and pretty buttons, only to dump them into a crappy part which has a completely different look and feel. Make sure the buttons you use maintain a level of consistency throughout the entire game. If my CLOSE buttons are red on one screen, make sure they are red everywhere. If my close button is on the upper right of one screen, don’t put it in the upper left of the next screen. This also goes for sound effects. Players by default, will come to expect a level of consistency as they learn to play your game. If you deviate from that consistency, it will cause confusion, and ultimately frustration. No one comes to kongregate to be frustrated, we all come to have fun and play cool games.

4) Teaching your player to play.
I am guilty of this myself. My games tend to be very complex and take some time to learn the mechanics. The best way to handle this is the dreaded ‘TUTORIAL’. After tons of research, trial and error, this is what I have learned. Your tutorial should NEVER be an image that just shows you everything on one page. I have also learned that players will NOT read instructions that are more than a few sentences. They will NOT go to another website to see a full manual or wiki. They will NOT hop over to YT channel to watch your in depth instructional video. So, that leaves you with very few options on how to effective teach a player how to play your game. Granted, there are some players who are not very smart. Regardless of how much you hold their hand, they just won’t get it and will rate your game 1 star because it makes them feel better about being mentally inept. This world is full of idiots… and yet we must somehow teach them to play. I found the best way is to EASE players into the mechanics. Give them small tasks that are easy to complete, yet teach them little by little how the game works. Don’t try to cram too much too fast. Baby steps is the way to go. Once you get them playing the game, if they like it, they will visit YT, and read the wiki… but you have to get them to that point. If you drop too much on them in the beginning, they will immediately feel like the game is too much work to learn. I have experienced many a negative comment about my tutorials for this reason. If they don’t feel like investing the time to learn a complex game, they will leave and rate you low…. regardless of the quality of the game. Think of it like an amusement park. We go there to have fun, not learn quantum mechanics. The rule of thumb here is ’ keep it simple ’ in the beginning. It should go like this, give them fun stuff, then a bit to learn, then more fun stuff, then more tutorial. I find them most successful complex games use this method and tie it into the storyline itself. That way the storyline is teaching you about the important elements of the game mechanics.

5) Your game description.
You only have 1 sentence to attract players your game. Title your game properly and make sure in one sentence, you describe what your game is about. DO NOT put things like, ‘This is a project I have been….’ or ’ Please check out my very first…’ NO, No, NOOO! You want something like this. ‘Fast paced shooter with upgrades’ or ‘Grow your kingdom, Fight bad guys, Steal gold…’ . A simple quick, to the point description of what they can expect your game to be. Use words they can immediately relate to from other games like ‘RTS, upgrades, fast paced, idle, a sim, like minecraft, like COD, etc…’ . likening your game to another game they may already know will help them gauge whether or not to play your creation. You DO NOT want them to play a game they normally would not play. If you do (like with badges) your rating will fall. When a game gets badged, players will be exposed to your game , not because they like it, but because they want the badge. If the game is not what they are used to enjoying, they will not normally enjoy the experience as much… and rate you down.

6) Screenshots.
You are able to upload 5 screenies of your game. If you are not making use of this, you are epically failing. Kong put that feature there for a reason. USE IT. Show me what I am about to play. Show me what the game has to offer. If you have upgrades in you game, SHOW ME. If your game is a side scroller, SHOW ME. if your game has walls of text i will have to read… SHOW ME. It is better that I see the screenshots and decide the game is not for me, rather than be fooled into sitting through an ad to discover what i thought your game was is not how it was presented. If i click through and play your game because you had 1 screenshot that looked really cool, and your game looks nothing like that, I leave immediately and poop you out a 1 star on my way out the door. The best screenshots are the ones that have text overlays that advertise what you are looking at. So if I have a screenshot showing you that there are tons of upgrades, I over lay some text that says ‘Tons of Upgrades!!!!’. It is simple marketing. How you present your game is what gets players to give it a chance.

7) User Interface.
This one is not something you will get overnight. I have been creating games for over a decade, and even I still struggle with what goes where. My rule of thumb is this. The buttons you click more often should be visible all the time. They should be bigger, easy to read, and in some cases have hotkeys. One of the best ways to help polish the interface of your game is to watch a new player play your game. Get a friend to sit down and play. sit behind them with a notebook. Take notes on where they get stuck, where they assume things are and how they work. This info is very valuable. Did you know that larger development studios even go so far as to track the eye movements of their testers? This helps them to fashion the UI so that what the player is looking for is right where they expect it to be. Sure, fancy drop down menus and slide in buttons look cool at first, but if I have to click 2 or 3 times to get to what I need often, consider putting the button in plain sight on the main stage. Gameplay and UI mechanics ALWAYS trumps the visual appeal of the interface.

8) Immersion
Their is a ton of psychology that goes into immersing a player in a game. It has to be challenging enough to make it feel rewarding to accomplish things, but easy enough to actually do them in a timely manner. We all play games to have fun. If you are a true gamer, you know very well what it feels like to get frustrated with a game, a level, a storyline, a mission. This frustration will break the immersion factor of your game, and in some cases, cause a player to rage quit. The fact that there is a term for this, (Rage Quit), should be proof enough how serious this can break your game. Top developers attempt to get around this with dynamic gameplay, multiple ways to complete the same task, and even in game assistance from NPCS. If i have to leave your game and hit up Youtube to figure out what the heck I am supposed to do, the immersion factor is lost. Why is that immersion factor so important? it is the very thing that makes a player crave to play your game again. They are sitting at school thinking about how they can’t wait to get back home and play some more. They tell their friends about your game. They share it on social media. They enjoy feeling like they found a gem and want to share it with the world. I cannot stress enough how important this can be to your game’s success, or failure.

9) Replay Value, Achievements, Rewards.
I have played a number of games on kong that are awesome. I enjoyed these games, I rated them highly… but i wont play them again. Why? simple… they have nothing more to offer. Creating a game with replay value is not an easy task. Here are a few tricks to add some replay value into your games. Non-linear gameplay. If your game always forces a player to go from step 1 to step 2 and so on, the only reason I would play again is to do it faster, or with less resources or added difficulty. If you are not going to show me how fast it did it, or allow me to adjust the difficulty or modify the resources available, one time is enough for me. I will not feel that original sense of achievement. Players want to be rewarded for their achievements. Highscores, Leaderboards, Badges, and bonuses are always a great way to add a bit of replay value to your project. Level editors, Sandbox controls, and dynamic gameplay are some of the best ways to add a much higher level of replay value to your game. If you can, let the player modify the settings of how the game will be played… then reward them for it. An example of this is ‘How many level you must beat’. If i beat the default 10 lvls, only to discover at the end, I can change that to 20 / 50 or 100 levels… I might just give it another go to see how far I can get. I have found that ‘most’ players feel like they beat a game when EVERYTHING has been acquired. EVERYTHING has been destroyed. EVERY map has been explored to the fullest. The best games at this are the ones where every time you play, it all feels different. Dynamic items, maps, and enemies all make for great replay value.

10) Balancing.
The progression on a game can easily be destroyed if the game is unbalanced. It will not only break the immersion factor due to frustration, but can also cause a player to lose interest before they even really get to the good stuff. The rule of thumb here is to keep the progression of the game on a slow upward curve. If your game is not properly balanced, at some point it will get too hard, or too easy. You must try to find that middle ground, with a slow upward lean towards the easy, at the end. If you make the curve lean too much toward the ‘hard’ at the end, the player will not feel rewarded for all the hard work he has done to get to the end. They will say ’I’ve got the best sword i can get, and the best spells and armor… this last boss is just over powered’. It will break the immersion factor and leave the player frustrated. The best way to handle this is scaling. You will need to get out a calculator, paper and pencil. If you have a dagger that costs 100 gold, then your GOLD per DMG ratio should remain somewhat consistent through the game. Remember, your curve on the higher level items should be favorable, but keep the curve slow. If the player can skip too many upgrades easily and save up for the best weapon with ease, why would they bother buying all the weapons in between the dagger and the dragon sword. By controlling the amount of resources made available to the player, you can prevent massive upgrade jumping, without preventing some of it altogether. Some of the classic RPGs nail this perfectly. Sure you could skip a weapon upgrade if you choose to grind for it, but the balanced progression would usually favor more linear upgrading. Sound confusing, so let me explain. If it takes a player with dagger (1 dmg) 30 minutes to kill enough monsters to buy the short sword (2 dmg). Then it would take that player who bought the short sword, another 30 minutes to buy the broad sword (3 dmg). But if the player chose to skip buying the short sword in an effort to save up for the broad sword, it would take them around 90 minutes. So to get a broad sword, it would be better to spend the money and upgrade to the short sword.

I will continue to add to this, so if you feel i have missed something important, let me know.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Best of 2014 Quest voting!

well that i can totally get :) no hard feelings or anything like that. and not to torture you or anything, but when i get the arrows in on the tutorial, if you have time, i would love ur feedback on it.

 
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Topic: Kongregate / Best of 2014 Quest voting!

i am quite shocked that you hated astrox, considering the rockpapershotgun and spacegamejunkies thought the game was very easy to pick up and play and gave me rave reviews. i tend to agree with you about the arrows pointing at buttons. i will add this in the next update. but as far as the buttons being default, this is just plain incorrect. default unity buttons look nothing like the custom ones i created for the game. there is no ‘they’, it’s just me. i am not a professional developer, but i sure to try to make my games look like it. i am sorry you felt your time was wasted on astrox, but i must say. i plopped this game in front of 3 kids, 8,9, and 12… and with no assistance they had no problem with the tutorial and hit the ground running. granted, i realize my games are a bit complex and not exactly casual. but based on the comments, ratings, and reviews i have received, i am going to have to chalk this one up as an exception to the general consensus. if by chance you care, feel free to pm me with you ideas and suggestions on how i could have improved your experience with astrox. i am very open to constructive feedback.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / Ads revenue page?

in your profile, mouse over the gear icon

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Andoor:
Clearly this is a well developed game with some great mechanics and interesting game play. for what it is, there really isn’t too much not to like. my biggest suggestion would be to ease the player into the puzzles a bit more slowly. it took me awhile to figure out how things worked. once i got the hang of it, i enjoyed playing it. perhaps you could make a few very simple levels to slowly expose the player to some of the block mechanics. like in level 1, a gold box and a sand box. in level 2, you have the sand and gold boxes, then introduce the one way box. this will slowly acclimate the player to the different boxes that you need to understand. we developers get so used to the games we are creating that without the opportunity to watch a complete newbie try to play the game, we overlook the most simple things. other than that, i would say you have a pretty solid puzzle game here.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Rob-Bot:
looks like you got some decent mechanics going on here. i liked the level design… maybe instead of an END box, you could make it a door, or something related to the rob-bot guy. i think you could soften up the left and right movement a bit. the boost timer seemed balanced. challenging, not too easy, but not flappy bird hard either. so…

1) skin your unity GUI, when i see those default buttons, it turns me off.
2) make a title screen behind that start game button. in this case, you can literally make the title screen a level that you cant die in. that way they can fly around and maybe that is how you start the game, view credits, toggle music. would be a great way to introduce the game mechanics to the player before the game even starts.
3) the graphics are a bit weak. don’t be scared to make things pretty.
4) show the level number on each stage, we humans love to watch numbers go up.
5) perhaps you can add a simple coin system, and shop that will allow you to improve your robot.

overall, not a bad start at all.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Pool Game Sandbox:
Okay, we all know what pool is, we have all play a game or 2… but clearly the reason this game is rated low is the physics engine. if you built this yourself, i have to say i am impressed. i don’t think i could get a s far as you did, even though the physics isn’t perfect. i like the way you did the power, and the angle lines. but as you know, the problem is physics engine. so assuming you will get this fixed and working as it should. here is what you need.

1) a title screen, soft music, mute button
2) create a 1vs ai opponent mode, and a solitaire / 9ball mode.
3) make the balls slide down on the side of the screen so you can see what ball you have already pocketed.
4) perhaps a tournement mode that lets you win money that you can spend of special items like pool sticks and special balls.

anyway, hit me up when you get further through this. i would love to see you get that engine working perfectly.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Jacksepticeye:
This game does not look complete at all. aside from a standard title screen, you need to add a mute button right in the upper right of the screen. players will leave your game before they even play it if you dont give them a way to stop the music. granted, unity is my personal choice for game development these days. but if you force players to sit through the unity load screen, you better have some magic for them on the other side. you can easily add backgrounds, parallax scrolling, and a much better control system. I would guess that this is your first platform game. i always take time to look and see what other games of a genre has done. you will get a feel for what is acceptable, hated, and loved. don’t give up on it. look at some other popular platform games on the site, you will see what is expected from your players.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Random Move:
So, right off the bat, i am very confused. the screen that acts as the info / tutorial screen should not be a static image. most players will not invest time into learning a game that they are not sure they will even like. teaching someone to play a complex game is a pain, i know. but i have found that the best way to do this is a little at a time. you will want to create tutorial stages that give you small task that are easy to complete, but teach you a particular part of the games mechanics. the reason you game is rated so low is because of this. players are not playing your game… i know this because after i suffered through figuring out what the heck i was looking at, let alone what i was supposed to do, i actually was impressed with the mechanics. it was unique, challenging, complex and a little fun. i made it through a few levels before i started to get confused again about how to avoid those fireballs. with a bit of front end polish and a learn as you go tutorial, your game would fair much better than it currently is. the graphics where fine since this is a puzzle game. you also need to improve your screenshot thumbs, and description. some sound effects and perhaps a soft music would be nice as well.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

sorry for the delay… been at work, ill knock a few reviews tonight.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Originally posted by vd2b:

a) Random move
b) 1 month for this game + 2-3 months a long ago
c) comment
d) difficulty level – which stages are not challeging enough or are too hard

you’re next :)

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

Eldaris-
You definitely have a solid game going here, keep up the good work. i think you really need to incorporate a little bit of hand holding in the beginning to help players figure out what to do. you have lots of options, lots of stats and plenty to explore at the start, but this can be a bit overwhelming and confusing at first.

right from the start, you need to make the only available settlement a nice big button in the center of the screen. took way to long to figure out i needed to click on that grey text. the mouse over did help, but remember that players without patience, will bypass this game if they feel like they cant get off the ground. this overall concept applies to about 90% of what i saw. you have plenty of real-estate on the screen, use it. make those options buttons for each place BIG. add a small 1 sentence description that doesn’t require a mouse over. mouse over descriptions are great when your space is limited, but if not, explain it right on the screen. again, bigger buttons for things that are more important.

graphics, you need some more graphics. for the type of game this is, it wouldn’t take much to incorporate a main graphic background for each place. if i am in the inn, show me the inside of the inn. if i am at the barracks, show me i am. animations for things like picking pockets and eating meals wouldn’t hurt either. since the genre of this game is fairly common, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding or creating some simple scenes for each place. players tend to dislike buttons that ‘seem’ to do nothing. as developers, we tend to care more about the functionality of these buttons. we care more that they do what they are supposed to behind the scenes. if a player doesn’t see right away that the button they clicked actually did something, they tend to think the game is bugged or poorly created and they will leave. yes, i reallize you have a little log on the left side, but if i click a button to chop some wood, i want to see a popup box saying, you gained 2 gold after 2 hours of work. maybe a little wood axe and some chopped would image in the pop up box. i cannot stress enough the importance of this. as a dev, i know how it goes. you just are trying to get the mechanics in place first. but even i tend to forget that i need to go back later and add some type of interactive notification method so that the player sees right away that what they interacted with, has been processed.

overall, i enjoyed tinkering with this. with a bit more streamlined gameplay, and some graphical sprinkles here and there, this could be a fun little game that many players will enjoy.

so… hold my hand in the beginning. walk me through the first 10 things that YOU as a developer would do when playing your own game. slowly introduce the player to the basic concepts and functionality. too much too fast is bad. it will force players away. the object is to suck them in, not scare them off.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

awesome danny, i’ll give it a go :)

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

well, at this point, all i could do was click the rock to mine, and sell my ore, then buy a better pickaxe. this style is very common with idle games. the furnace and camp buttons do nothing. what exactly is the adventure part of the game going to be? if you are not going for the idle genre, i would suggest a completely different format. perhaps some form of character development. a story that sets the stage maybe. to be honest, it definitely came off as an idle type game to me.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

okay, i gave it a good go. since it is not finished, i will just list out what you need to do to make this a decent idle game.

1) make it fit the screen, i should not have to scroll anything to see everything.
2) make those main buttons across the top bigger, they are basically the main modes of operation, they are important, make them big.
3) make some graphics, no one wants to play a webpage.
4) basic instructions on what you see, even if it is just a simple overlay when you first start the game.
5) make stats for the item upgrade, we want to see why the next item level is better.
6) you need MIN / MAX buttons on the sale of ore.
7) don’t let me raise the number to sell, higher than what i currently have.
8) add sound, music, mute button.
9) game options for save games, game speed
10) tag your game properly, IDLE should be the main tag.
11) Add screenshots for your game, you don’t want players clicking what they think will be an ADVENTURE type game, to discover it is an idle game… you will get 1/5 ratings from most players very quick.
12) Make sure you game description leans heavy on IDLE, and why your idle game is different.
13) make icons for every upgrade item. if you are lazy, you can just render same class icons a different color.

is this done it html 5? you could do this very easily in flash. i realize this is your first game, so i am guessing you are just learning the basic of coding and such.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

cool drelzar, ill give it a quick go now and a full review go in the afternoon tomorrow.

 
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Topic: General Gaming / Astrox players?

Originally posted by del1809982:

thought i would mention that i just traveled from one system to another without a warp gate. took maybe 10-15 minutes, and seemed to be roughly 12000 or 13000km. so… i guess that’s always an option.

yes, i like the feeling of freedom to play as i want. you can tweak the settings to create an entirely new feel for the game.

Originally posted by shielded72:

I’am in a ship at 3 mio Money, ( Also used the modify galaxy, too lazy to farm missions, so i farmed the last boss everytime, then gained 110K $ Easy, ( Like every 30 seconds ) ;) Also, make a multiplayer mod with pvp!

i would love to hook up an optional multiplayer arena for astrox, but i cannot afford to pay for a game server service at this time. i may consider doing alphafunding for v2 so that we can have multiplayer… i just don’t want it to turn into the eve online community.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / Displaying a loading screen during intense calculations

have you considered possibly breaking apart the calculations so that you can inject a small loader ring that changes just a little in between the heavy calculations.

 
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Topic: Game Programming / I want to play your game!!

i made it to the post-it, then the error, then i was lost.

1) put this game in front of a friend or family member.
2) grab notebook and sit behind them and watch how they play it.
3) you cannot answer questions until they say, ‘i give up’
4) write down where you see them getting confused and what they are looking for.

i love to watch players playing my games on youtube, i can see where i have missed the mark. i can see where they are struggling or confused. i make note of all these things and then make tweaks. after years of this, my new games avoid these issues completely. hit me up when you got an update ready.

also, watch this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAEWSpmTy9Y) , covers lots of tips trick and secrets about how to maximize your games rating on kong. its a 40 min video, but it is good. even a few testimonials in the comments.