Comments

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Comments

Postby U-B » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:42 am

I've always been sucker for snake-style games, love a bit of old-school style gameplay :)

A few comments though:

The quick levels provide good bite sized gameplay, but they seem a little too quick to me, as the snake is just getting to an interesting length when each level ends. I realise there is also survival mode, where the snake has much more opportunity to grow, but the brevity of the normal levels still takes something away from them. One idea that occurred to me: rather than stopping at 9, instead keep spawning objects, but also spawn some sort of "exit" at 9, thereby giving the player, at that point, a continual risk/reward decision between heading to the next level or building up more score.

I'm unconvinced by the "quick move" mechanic; stringing together quick complex moves does have an element of risk/reward, but ultimately it seems to encourage and reward what I would think of as "bad" snake habits, eg. I will purposefully misalign myself with an object just to quick move into it, which doesn't seem intuitive or particularly skill based.

A few elements of the scoring system seem a little off. For instance, if you lose a life, then in scoring terms, it's actually better to get 8 of 9 on the last level, then purposefully die and repeat, because you can't then get to the extra levels anyway. This is even more true in marathon mode, as there is no survival bonus, meaning that finishing with a lot of lives will actually result in a worse score. One way I can think of to solve this would be to have an end level bonus based on the current number of lives.

Anyway, just some constructive criticism, still really enjoying the game.
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Re: Comments

Postby yyr » Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:47 pm

First off, I just wanted to thank you for playing the game, and for your comments. I hope you continue to enjoy it!

The snake will not grow to a very long length when you're playing on the Easy or Normal levels. This is to make the game as accessible as possible for a wide audience. On Difficult, things start getting interesting. Once you start playing the Expert levels, I don't think you'll be complaining much any more about the length of the snake, especially compared to the amount of free space in the levels you'll be attempting!

The "exit" mechanic does sound interesting, though, and is something I hadn't thought of. It may be something to think about for a future version!

Yes, purposefully misaligning yourself for a Quick Move is indeed a bad habit, possibly one that could lead to trouble down the line. But that is why I reward the player for doing that AND still being able to collect all of the targets flawlessly. It is also more difficult to concentrate on continuously misaligning yourself throughout a course. The mechanic is designed to reward playing out of your comfort zone and I think it does that. Maybe you'll come to agree with me over time... maybe you won't, but hopefully this does not mar your enjoyment of the game.

I am not concerned about the suiciding in normal course mode, because someone who clears all of the levels and gets the Survival bonuses should still get the highest score. However, I should have given a bonus at the end of Marathon Mode for remaining lives. Hindsight is 20/20, they say...
...the amount of suiciding is going to be pretty limited in Marathon Mode, though, because lives are much more limited than they are in course mode. And while you could say "why not just get to the final level, kill all but one life, then clear it?" remember that level 60 is the hardest in the game. It's easy to mess up, lose that last life and then walk away with your tail between your legs and without an Internet Ranking code. So hopefully this won't get too abused.

If Community Games had an easier updating scheme I would probably address this...but it doesn't, and I can't keep Internet Ranking valid while having two different versions of the game out. It's unfortunate.

Anyway, I'll definitely be taking a closer look at the scoring mechanics. Thanks for your feedback!
Aaron Teplitsky
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I hope you're having fun with them!
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Re: Comments

Postby U-B » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:57 pm

yyr wrote:The snake will not grow to a very long length when you're playing on the Easy or Normal levels. This is to make the game as accessible as possible for a wide audience. On Difficult, things start getting interesting. Once you start playing the Expert levels, I don't think you'll be complaining much any more about the length of the snake, especially compared to the amount of free space in the levels you'll be attempting!

Well, actually, I've made a fair amount of progress through Difficult and Expert ('Chilling Out' on the rankings) ;). The levels definitely do get more challenging, but I still find that it's most often the tight course that kills me, rather than the snake length. Personally, I still find myself wanting to play a tad longer on most levels, but then I've wasted many hours over the years on various Snake games (and programmed a fair few versions too), so maybe I'm not a great barometer on that :)

yyr wrote:Yes, purposefully misaligning yourself for a Quick Move is indeed a bad habit, possibly one that could lead to trouble down the line. But that is why I reward the player for doing that AND still being able to collect all of the targets flawlessly. It is also more difficult to concentrate on continuously misaligning yourself throughout a course. The mechanic is designed to reward playing out of your comfort zone and I think it does that. Maybe you'll come to agree with me over time... maybe you won't, but hopefully this does not mar your enjoyment of the game.

Well, it's totally optional, apart from score maxing, so it certainly doesn't mar my enjoyment. And yes, I can see the reasoning, but in practise I just don't feel that it adds much to the game, but that's probably down to individual tastes. I tried to think of some alternative, and the only thing that I could come up with is a bonus for "brushing" along walls, as that would encourage and reward risky gameplay, given that it's normally wise, when possible, to keep at least a little distance from walls. That would be fairly redundant on the Expert levels though ;)

yyr wrote:If Community Games had an easier updating scheme I would probably address this...but it doesn't, and I can't keep Internet Ranking valid while having two different versions of the game out. It's unfortunate.

No worries, I'm aware of the repercussions of changes and the limited update features, so wasn't expecting any "fixes", just some thoughts to bear in mind for future projects.
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