Author Topic: Mana Match [playable]  (Read 608 times)

eri0o

Mana Match [playable]
« on: 14 Apr 2021, 03:25 »

Mana Match is a match3 game with pixel aesthetic, with old-school and newer elements.




This is not an adventure game

Music by Juhani Junkala

This game is a side project I plan to develop and push updates casually on the game's itch.io page. For now, the game is very barebones and I consider the art placeholdery. I want to have a good "Endless" game going, and once I get this, proceed to work in the other play modes, like Puzzle, VS, and Story Mode. If you want to run the game on your computer, I recommend using the itch client to get newer updates. A web player is also available there for testing, but the desktop game should run smoother.

I initially was developing this game with a friend, we worked on it from 2018 to 2019 in JavaScript, and while we advanced a lot at some point, the development just stopped. I still talk a lot with my friend, so recently, I asked about it, and with his consent, I ported the game to AGS because I think some pixel aesthetics I want may be easier to achieve with it.
  • graphics 5%
  • puzzles 0%
  • scripting 65%
  • music/sound 5%

If you download and play, for now, the only supported input method is swiping pieces using a mouse, you click hold the piece you want to swap with another adjacent piece, drag towards it and release. The web player actually works on my phone but for really smooth gameplay for now a mouse in the desktop version is recommended.
« Last Edit: 30 Apr 2021, 16:09 by eri0o »

Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #1 on: 14 Apr 2021, 12:19 »
I played it a bit this morning on my phone, very impressive! The game was fluid and worked fine on a touch-screen. I don't know how you can manage to make AGS do all this crazy stuff: 3D games, amazing modules, and plug-ins...

Anyway, this is very promising and already enjoyable. I loved PuzzleQuest 1, so I'm really curious to see what you're going to do with this game!

I found the sea background a bit distracting, it would be nice to have an option to make it static. On the itch page it's double the distraction, as the background of the page is animated too. (laugh)

eri0o

Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #2 on: 14 Apr 2021, 16:20 »
That's interesting information about the background, I still think they should be animated, but perhaps this should be very minimal - a small mill rotating, few grass shaking, blinking stars, something like 16 pixels max per frame of change or less... I will think about this. But the current background animation will be nixed then. Also lowering the contrast of it's own colors.

I am kinda happy with the palette for the Pieces, I thought they are good colors, what do you think? The pieces palette were suggested by a friend but the drawing is mine - eventually I will try to get an artist onboard, but I wanted to have more "game" before doing this.

I am experimenting with the meta parts of the gameplay - the things beyond the board. I am not sure yet how things will go, but Puzzle Quest 1 will be an influence too, also Heroes of Might and Magic Clash of Heroes and Tetris Attack! So it will be real time instead of turn based.

Internally I am using Edmundito's Tween module for animations and CW's Timer for resolving actions and Object Pool for managing the pieces.  :)

Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #3 on: 14 Apr 2021, 17:51 »
It could be that the moving background is an issue only for me -- and a small one too. Maybe I'm just easily distracted. :P
Small animations like the one you mentioned would work great, making the game feel more "alive", but not being a distraction.
The sea background is pretty, though. If you decide not to use it in the game, at least put it in a menu. ;)

I like the palette for the pieces, nice choice of colours! You can easily distinguish each piece both by colour and shape. I tried playing in black and white and I had no trouble recognizing the pieces without colour.
The icons are quite cute, so good work!

Judging from inspirations, the only thing I can say: hurry up and finish the game, I want to play it! :grin:

selmiak

  • ǝsıɔɹǝxǝ ʞɔǝu puɐ uıɐɹq
    • I can help with play testing
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    • I can help with translating
    • I can help with web design
    • selmiak worked on one or more games that won an AGS Award!
    •  
    • selmiak worked on one or more games that was nominated for an AGS Award!
Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #4 on: 15 Apr 2021, 02:00 »
fun. Allowing to drag tiles even when it doesn't delete anything makes it too easy though. is it always the same start condition or is this coincidence?

this totally needs some cool sfx and displays for multipliers when combining more and more tiles!


bug: when you have 20-29 points the points display as 2_0 to 2_9

Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #5 on: 15 Apr 2021, 07:57 »
fun. Allowing to drag tiles even when it doesn't delete anything makes it too easy though.

Agreed. Took me a while before I discovered this (by accident). Or perhaps this is just meant to be a feature in the endless mode?

I wasn't distracted by the animation in the background, by the way. Also liked the switch in backgrounds to another level. This makes the player feel progress. I guess that will be more important in other modes. (I'm too much of a "beat the game"-guy to really be in the market for meditative endless play.)

Very clear colours and easy interface. I'm intrigued by the title - will the blocks represent something in story mode?

eri0o

Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #6 on: 20 Apr 2021, 17:22 »
Hi!

@selmiak I switched the font for the score, so it may look less jaring now! I am not quite satisfied with it yet, but I think it's a better font for now :) (I also added a little shake in the score when making new points)

Displays for multipliers are coming soon! This is something that I already had working in the original JS game so it's just a matter of me porting it. :)

@hentenjon For now it doesn't exist yet, but I just started working on a puzzle mode which will be basically figuring out how to clear the board in less than X moves, which I think you will like it - it's there in the menu now, but it does nothing yet.

The blocks will indeed represent something in story mode, in story mode there will be also a meta game that will have "rpg" elements, I am still figuring out how it will work though, but the general idea is blocks cleared will affect a meta-game that will happen outside of the board. I am still deciding if it will be a 1-D with the tiles always on screen or you will alternate between a map where you walk like normal and using the titles only as the battle-system - the second is more work, but I like the idea of taking little breaks of the tile battles since they will be quite fast. I will probably endup implementing both eventually to see what works best.

@lorenzo, I didn't forgot you, I just haven't yet had the time to draw the new backgrounds with less animation.

For now I am using some assets to help but mostly I am drawing myself a lot of things, which is good to experiment ideas but also slow because I am slow at pixels :/



On the new things to report front, I settled for a little json format to use for representing the board, and I made a little editor for it in the game itself which I will use for authoring the puzzle levels. If you want to see the json file, just save a board and look into the game save directory under Saved Games in your use directory (C:\Users\MyUser\Saved Games\ManaMatch).

The editor doesn't work well on the phone, so I may endup disabling it on mobile, since it's not really relevant in the long run but it's useful for myself for now.

I also fixed some little bugs that happened when you switched between rooms - you could do it with AGS debug key CTRL+X before, but now it's used by the main menu for each option.

I also added a way to disable the full game audio or just the music - this is because I needed this for myself to test different music. The full game audio disabling doesn't work on the web, this is a bug on my port I will eventually fix. Also I will eventually move these to a menu, but for now it's very practical for me having them on screen all the time.

I also redid the graphics of the buttons, so the full-screen/windowed button is easier to read.

Edit:

Added the point text floating now whenever a piece is cleared, showing how it influences the game score!



Edit2: added particles now. It's working good on the desktop but I am not totally sold on how they are working when I play with less framerate (the game is set to run at 40fps on the web version), I may still tune the particles it a bit.
« Last Edit: 22 Apr 2021, 12:48 by eri0o »

Re: Mana Match [playable]
« Reply #7 on: 24 Apr 2021, 16:49 »
The new text and particle effects are really nice! They work better on desktop, but I think they look OK on the browser too.