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Peppy Protein Puzzle improved!
amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
avatar

I got a lot of honest feedback on my TINS entry (it being hard, headache-inducing, frustrating, etc) that I had to address.

So I created a new version of Peppy Protein Puzzle:

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Download it here (Windows and linux binaries)
http://games.helixsoft.nl/game/peppy/

Even if there is still more that can be done, I hope you'll find it much better already.

Let me know what you think!

Changelog:

  • The dialogs now wait for keypress, so you can read them at your own leisure. This also makes the game a bit slower... it's a trade-off.


  • The various parts of the screen are now labeled, and presented one by one instead of all at once.


  • Added extra symbols to show which parts of the sequence is already correct. This further helps to point you in the right direction.


  • I added inline symbols in the dialogs so I wouldn't have to awkwardly write "T (red)" or "G (grey)". This seems like a small thing but I think it radically reduces the amount of explanation.


  • The game introduces fewer new concepts. Note for example that I renamed the game with the word 'protein' instead of the less common 'peptide'. I've made many similar changes to reduce the number of unknown concepts, to just a few essential ones.


  • The puzzles are essentially unchanged. I think that's the part of the game that worked best. I plan to add more eventually.

edit:

There is now a version 0.3, which adds:

  • The game remembers your progress


  • Fix crash bug when pressing left/right when there are no more mutation cards remaining

--
Martijn van Iersel | My Blog | Sin & Cos | Tegel tilemap editor | TINS 2017

SiegeLord
Member #7,827
October 2006
avatar

I like the new animations, although the hand animation made selecting things feel slow... I'd speed it up perhaps. A few technical issues on Linux:

- Fade effect isn't working
- A reliable segfault if you press left/right while ribosome is moving

"For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow."-Ecclesiastes 1:18
[SiegeLord's Abode][Codes]:[DAllegro5]:[RustAllegro]

Valach
Member #16,779
December 2017

I have tried it and I like the game. In game dialog is good and well explaining, and I can also learn something about aminoacids. I like the dancing bunny animation ;D . Good job.

Some suggestions for improvements:
- Key to skip dialog
- Option to start from some level or save option
- When set of dialogs is not finished I cannot quit game with quit button

Crashes on Windows (program stopped working):
- When I entered toogle fullscreen option (I was in fullscreen mode)
- Few seconds after I entered quit option (from main menu or in game)
- Same bug with ribosome

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
avatar

Thanks a lot for your feedback! I just uploaded a new version (version 0.3) with some fixes. You can download it from the same site: http://games.helixsoft.nl/game/peppy/

SiegeLord said:

- Fade effect isn't working

I'm not sure what you mean, are you talking about the transition effect when you mutate a letter? I develop on linux, and it works for me.

Quote:

the hand animation made selecting things feel slow... I'd speed it up perhaps

I sped it up, but only slightly. To be honest, I don't think this was a major problem, since extra key presses are buffered while the animation runs. But hopefully it will feel a bit more snappy now.

Quote:

- A reliable segfault if you press left/right while ribosome is moving

Oops, I hadn't noticed this one. It was trying to access the next mutation card when the list of cards was empty. Thanks for pointing this out, it's fixed now.

Valach said:

Crashes on Windows (program stopped working):
- When I entered toogle fullscreen option (I was in fullscreen mode)
- Few seconds after I entered quit option (from main menu or in game)

I can't reproduce the first two, even on Windows. When you toggle fullscreen, does it crash immediately? If you have a chance to press quit after the toggle, the setting should be remembered.

Quote:

- Key to skip dialog

Haven't done this yet, but I've added it to my to-do list.

Quote:

- Option to start from some level or save option

The latest version of the game now gives you the option to continue the game where you left off. In addition, there is now an ultra-secret cheat code e.g. "idclev04" which you can type to jump to the 4th level (works for any number between 1 and 12 of course)

Quote:

- When set of dialogs is not finished I cannot quit game with quit button

You're right, v0.3 fixes this!

--
Martijn van Iersel | My Blog | Sin & Cos | Tegel tilemap editor | TINS 2017

Valach
Member #16,779
December 2017

I can't reproduce the first two, even on Windows. When you toggle fullscreen, does it crash immediately? If you have a chance to press quit after the toggle, the setting should be remembered.

When I pressed quit button, blue page about developer was shown then I hit key and application close itself, but program not responding message was shown. Now it is solved(probably windows update which was installed recently fixed it).

But toggle fullscreen still not working. When I try this option application close immediately itself and I am returned to desktop and application icon disappears from windows taskbar. Error message is sometimes displayed (program peppy.exe is not responding). Same with new version.

I am sending you error logs in PM. Check it if you are interested.

P.S. - I also tried it on another computer with WIN OS and it works fine. So maybe is the error "to my HW related".

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
avatar

Thanks for sending me those logs, but I have trouble interpreting them. It contains an mdpm file, does anybody know what to do with that?

If you can manage it, it would be great to take a look at the allegro logs. To get at them, copy the peppy folder to your documents, from C:\Program Files\helixsoft.nl\peppy (Usually the game doesn't have permission to write to that folder, so it can't write the logs there. By changing the location, an allegro.log file should appear near peppy.exe)

--
Martijn van Iersel | My Blog | Sin & Cos | Tegel tilemap editor | TINS 2017

Valach
Member #16,779
December 2017

I did it, I copied peppy folder to users\myusername\documents and run it from there but no log file on crash is generated. I also tried run it as admin with no luck.

I mean that in release version of allegro, log file is not generated. Only in debug version. Maybe thats why there is no this file.

bamccaig
Member #7,536
July 2006
avatar

Much improved. :) I can kind of understand what I'm doing now. I don't think it's really teaching me anything that I'll remember because it feels like it's skipping over a lot of details and just giving a few cues (which probably is good for the game). Now that I can actually read the text, and presumably the UI has been improved, the game is playable. :)

It does seem like a relatively easy puzzle game (so far!), but it might be a good game for kids. It's probably still a bit too advanced for my nephew, but in a year or two he might be able to figure it out with help.

Side note: The Reverse Complement button text seems to flow off of the button (not sure if you knew and didn't care or if it's environmental).

Append:

I found this part difficult to comprehend (perhaps because the button graphics are broken?), but I guess I figured it out with a bit of scratching.

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I take it back. This is not appropriate for kids. It hurts my head. >:(

For example, the game does not give any kind of persistent hint about what a "stop codon" is or any tricks for remembering all of this. So somehow I just have to remember these 3 sequences? I have adult things filling my brain up at the moment. I think you should try to make this easier for the player (whether you give visual hints, or show hints when I press ?, or explain how it works so it can be figured out on the fly, or just explain some tricks that people use to keep it straight).

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Somehow I fixed it, but the UI still looks like the puzzle isn't solved. I don't understand.

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I apparently managed to complete the game, but I obviously didn't fully understand parts of it still. As a side note, the game should not quit when you complete it. Instead, it should return you to the menu screen. It would be OK to present credits there too and prevent the player from skipping over it for a few seconds). I barely caught that the game was over. Had I missed it, I might have thought that the game crashed instead.

Valach
Member #16,779
December 2017

I finally managed to open the mdump file (on the PC where error occurred) with debug diagnostic tools.

Output from this program is in attachment.

You should open it in internet explorer (select option allow blocked content to get more features, if this option is not showing click on red error image and notification should appear).

amarillion
Member #940
January 2001
avatar

Valach said:

Output from this program is in attachment.

Thanks a lot! For me the most interesting snippet of the logs is the one below. It seems that there is indeed a crash happening in your graphics driver, so that explains why it's happening only on your machine.

It could be simply a bug in your graphics driver, and updating the driver might help. I'm not certain about this but it's worth a shot.

#SelectExpand
1Exception Information 2IG4ICD32+132C1EWARNING - DebugDiag was not able to locate debug symbols for \ig4icd32.dll, so the information below may be incomplete. 3 4In WER2EA0.tmp.dmp the assembly instruction at ig4icd32+132c1e in C:\Windows\System32\ig4icd32.dll from Intel Corporation has caused an access violation exception (0xC0000005) when trying to read from memory location 0x00000014 on thread 0 5 6 7Module Information 8Image Name: C:\Windows\System32\ig4icd32.dll Symbol Type: Export 9Base address: 0x00905a4d Time Stamp: Wed Jul 28 22:31:59 2010 10Checksum: 0x00000000 Comments: 11COM DLL: False Company Name: Intel Corporation 12ISAPIExtension: False File Description: OpenGL(R) Driver for Intel(R) Graphics Accelerator 13ISAPIFilter: False File Version: 8.15.10.2189 14Managed DLL: False Internal Name: OpenGL 15VB DLL: False Legal Copyright: Copyright (c) 1998-2006 Intel Corporation. 16Loaded Image Name: ig4icd32.dll Legal Trademarks: 17Mapped Image Name: C:\Windows\System32\ig4icd32.dll Original filename: iglicd32 18Module name: ig4icd32 Private Build: 19Single Threaded: False Product Name: Intel Graphics Accelerator Drivers for Windows XP(R) 20Module Size: 10,64 MBytes Product Version: 8.15.10.2189 21Symbol File Name: ig4icd32.dll Special Build: &

Quote:

Much improved. :) I can kind of understand what I'm doing now. I don't think it's really teaching me anything that I'll remember because it feels like it's skipping over a lot of details and just giving a few cues (which probably is good for the game). Now that I can actually read the text, and presumably the UI has been improved, the game is playable. :)

I'm glad you persisted, and glad that it's improved at least. I think it's a fair question: how much do you actually learn from this game. Is it just a color sliding puzzle with a bit of biology sauce on top?

I have to find the right balance between fun and being overbearingly educational. This is an experiment, and I'm not sure if I've found the right balance yet. I think it's a good idea to add ? buttons, or something like "civilopedia", where you can get some extra optional explanation in case you want to learn more.

And thanks for the detailed feedback. I think you raise some good points. I know there are still some rough spots, but I wanted to get feedback on the improvements even though it's not perfect yet.

bamccaig said:

I found this part difficult to comprehend

Quote:

the game does not give any kind of persistent hint about what a "stop codon" is

I agree, better hints are needed here. In fact, actual ribosomes are not be able to move past the stop codon, so the way it's visualized in the game is factually wrong.

I will prepare a version 0.4. Stay tuned.

--
Martijn van Iersel | My Blog | Sin & Cos | Tegel tilemap editor | TINS 2017

Valach
Member #16,779
December 2017

It could be simply a bug in your graphics driver, and updating the driver might help.

Thanks for help and tip, I have tried it and now it works!

At first I thought it was a bug in the game or allegro.

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