Slimy Pete’s Singles Bar

The second game I wrote, within the 7-days deadline. Unlike Marbles this time I ended up using all of the seven days. Slimy Pete’s Singles Bar was created for suomipelit.com summer game development competition. There where 147 attendants of which 35 managed to create a game. The competition was fierce and Slimy Pete came eight. The top three really stood out from the rest of the entries (I recommend you download the
winner: Soosiz, very fun and original game) and rest of the top ten where within only few points from each other (I knew I should have voted for myself ;) ).

Little bit about the feedback I’m looking for
I’m inviting criticism, because I think it’s a very good way to learn and improve your craft. I hope you don’t put on silk gloves when treating Slimy Pete. Thinking “this is the way it should be, but he had only 7 days to do it”. On the contrary I hope the fact that it was done in a week encourages criticism. I committed only seven days to this game, so its not like I have been developing it for three years and go all berserk when somebody says it sucks.

I’m interested in your “user experience”. Did you have the “Oh I get it now” -moment? How long did it take? Was the game too easy or too hard? When did it turn boring? Or frustrating? What kind of a score did you get? When did you quit the game? Or did you finish it (there are 8 levels)? etc.

I’m also looking for critique on the game’s design. Look beyond the glittering graphics at the game’s core mechanisms. What wrong with it? What are the biggest problems? How could it be improved? Why it feels or doesn’t feel fun? etc. I’m hoping to tear the game into pieces Lost Garden style.
(Also Jimmy’s Lost His Marbles is all open for critique.)

Enough of words here’s the game.

Slimy Pete’s Singles Bar

Screen Shots
Screenshot of Slimy Pete's Singles Bar Screenshot of Slimy Pete's Singles Bar Screenshot of Slimy Pete's Singles Bar

Download
Slimy.zip (4,8Mb) (Release 2)

Instructions
You play the part of Cupid. Try to match Jesse and Celine together. Do this by matching conversations. When you match three similar conversation bubbles in a row, they pop and Jesse and Celine move closer to each other. You can shut up a single person by moving cursor over them. If the bubbles hit the ceiling fan, Jesse’s and Celine’s conversation ain’t going so smoothly and they move away from each other.
Esc - Will quit the game.

Credits
Game Design, Code & Gfx: Petri Purho ( petri.purho (at) gmail.com )
Music: Isham Jones & His Orchestra - The Original Charleston
Sound Effects: Hell’s Sound Guy - BUBBLES POPPING.wav. The file is licensed under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus 1.0 License.

Thanks
Inspiration source: Experimental Gameplay Project and Suomipelit.com.
Some modified textures: Image After.
Slimy Pete’s Singles Bar uses: SDL, SDL_Image and SDL_Mixer

15 Responses to “Slimy Pete’s Singles Bar”

  1. Game Producer Says:

    Well, the game was fun & idea is original (*taking off silk gloves*), but game is too difficult (or me brain too slow). I would have wanted more control. Don’t know how… but somehow.

  2. grapefrukt Says:

    I’ve tried it too and had the same problem, it looks real nice, and the music really fits with the theme, but it’s too hard to control. I feel I just keep clicking at random, maybe if you could do stuff to the stacks aswell.
    It does look very nice though, and with a bit of tweaking I think it could turn out a rather nice game.

  3. petri.purho Says:

    Thanks for your critique. Keep it going.

  4. chico Says:

    Congratulations for the games. I´ve published a note on http://nongames.blogspot.com/2006/10/more-experimental-gameplay.html

    About gameplay considerations for Slimy Pete´s, like two previous reviewers, I felt a certain lack of control as well - But I guess a simple change would make a difference for me: Instead of simply placing the mouse over characters to make them talk/stop, clicking them with the mouse button would give me more control precision, since I often forgot to move the mouse away from them, messing all the stack…

    But don´t get it wrong: I love the game!

    Keep up the good work!
    Chico

  5. petri.purho Says:

    Huge thanks to chico for his comment’s and blog post. I posted a postmortem on Slimy Pete’s Singles Bar. But I’m still looking for critique and feedback. I’d love to hear your opinions about the game.

  6. Bezman Says:

    I felt that whilst it certainly became possible to line up particular groups with a bit of practise (after I got used to the whole idea of ‘pushing a column down’ in effect), having to spot the closest line of 3, with other lines arranged similarly was just too hard.

    Not that it was an impossible task, but I found that thanks to the length of the columns, I was getting matches by luck just as often (if not more so) than the ones I had pre-calculated.

    I liked the style of the graphics and kinda liked the metaphorical undertones.

  7. petri.purho Says:

    @Bezman: Your absolute right, the games core mechanisms are a bit too difficult to control and scoring seems more random, than deliberate. The strength of this game is in its visual design, which I still consider to be my best. And as you said the idea has cool metaphorical undertones, but symbolism unfortunately doesn’t make a good game.

  8. Tracy Says:

    I really liked this game. It reminded of the hand-held puzzles with numbered marbles, or colored marbles etc sliding in criss-crossing tracks. The strategies are similar to move pieces into proper sequences.

    A couple suggestions:
    - Maybe show one more marble so we see what’s coming below the shut-up sign.
    - Don’t speed up until much later. The extra variety is hard enough, and interesting enough to keep me playing.
    - Add a different sound for succeeding with a level. The little whine-noise sounded like bad news rather than good news.

    I think perhaps a more basic trouble with this game is that it is not a common sort of puzzle-logic for online games. It just means that it is a hard game.

    I actually keep coming back to this game. But the fact that it speeds up like it does makes me quit playing early.

    Most importantly, the artwork is simply fantastic! Literally like a fantasy-land.

    And as you and many others have discussed here and elsewhere, I agree with the lessons you learned; it illustrates that maxim for most every discipline: Utility before Style.

    Your artwork reminded me of the Surrealist art of Remedios Varo. And also Tim Burton.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remedios_Varo

    Personally, I would like to see more of this style in a future game. Or perhaps you might assemble some examples of your artwork, and illustrate your work-flow as a graphic artist.

  9. petri.purho Says:

    Thanks for the feedback and criticism.

    I think the game not only suffers from the fact that it’s hard, but also from the fact that it’s bit unclear for the player how to play the game. And even after you figure out how to play the game, the controlling of the marbles is a bit too difficult. You usually end up making as many accidental matches as you do intentional matches. Which makes the player feel like he has no control over the game.

    But I’m happy I made the game.

    Also I’m glad that my efforts on the graphical side didn’t go to waste. Tim Burton’s stop motion films were a big inspiration of the graphical style of Slimy Pete. I haven’t heard of Remedios Varo, but I checked the wikipedia entry and I’m already intrigued by her style. I should try to find more of her paintings.

    The problem with the graphical style of Slimy Pete is that it’s not “cheap” to make. I mean takes a lot of time. I spend the better half of the development just on the characters. (The background isn’t really on the level I’d like it to be). In the end I like to spend more time with the gameplay than with the graphics.

    Thanks for the artwork assembly suggestion. I’d love to that, I just have to find some better pieces of my “artwork”. I usually draw on small pieces of paper and they end up getting lost a lot of the time.

  10. Alex Says:

    Too easy. I suggest you reduce the maximum height for the stacks, but other than that - nice game, it’s the one i enjoed the most out of all you’ve produced so far.

  11. petri.purho Says:

    Alex: You know you’re the first person to say that this is their favorite game of the ones I’ve created :) It’s great to know that all my games have their fans.

  12. weHavePHAILED » [Game] Slimey Pete’s Singles Bar [Kloonigames] Says:

    [...] (Original post at Kloonigames)(direct download) Sphere: Related Content [...]

  13. Paulish Says:

    Interestingly, the fast levels seem easier rather than harder than the slow levels. Or at least they finish sooner so it seems that way.

    There are a good number of accidental matches. Preventing these is counterproductive though, since someone can just as easily be attempting multiple matches at once.

  14. c4rashy Says:

    i felt like sometimes i wanted everyone to speak, or everyone to shut up. Else its pretty good, but really hard

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