Monday, November 9, 2015

Spirits of Elduurn puzzle solver

For a good long while now I've been working on a solver for Spirits of Elduurn puzzles.  The one I had a while ago was good for the easier puzzles, but I would run out of RAM on more difficult puzzles.  I figured it was good enough, but a twitter user, @fifteencharworld, was having trouble solving a few problems.  Peter tried solving them (since he's better at the game than I am), but he wasn't able to get them down as low as we had written down as the best move count.

I ended up working on it for a few weeks.  I'd put it down, and pick it up again a day later.  Made slow progress and finally got one of the hard levels solved after 3.5 hours of running and looking at 9.5 million concurrent paths.  Later that night in the shower I thought about how I could trim that down when I realized that there was no way I would have 9.5 million unique and useful paths.  Removed all the paths that were in the same position and had removed the same map elements and I solved that level again, but in only 2.5 seconds instead of 3.5 hours!  Tried a worst case scenario, unsolvable level with free energy in every slot except for the spirits and demon.  Took ~8 seconds.

This got me excited.  If we could have a puzzle solver that works so fast, we could put a level editor in the actual game and let people play a lot more levels!  So that's what I did.

Basic editor in action.  Still haven't asked Peter for new art.

Clearly it needs an art upgrade.  I just used the Japanese language flag button for the new buttons.  I'm working on a GUI that will let you name levels, save, load, upload, and create an account.

Peter's made a lot of changes to Siphon Spirit as well.  Lots of art and story have been added in, and I can't wait to release the demo!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Spirits of Elduurn on Playstation Mobile soon!

Spirits of Elduurn, our dual-movement puzzle game, will be available on Playstation Mobile on June 17th!

It will be free to play on the Playstation Vita.

You may have already played Spirits of Elduurn on Kongregate.  In this newer version there are three major changes.

  1. An extra set of challenging levels available for purchase.
  2. An art gallery that unlocks more images as you play.
  3. A new touch-based game where you crush demons as they try to escape.
An image of the gallery
We're really excited for it to come out next week and we hope that you are too!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Siphon Spirit getting remade

Peter's been really busy getting all the art and story ready for Siphon Spirit, but I've been pretty much finished with the code for some time now.  Not to mean that I've been doing nothing.  I did make a Japanese match-3 game and I've been remaking Peter's Spirits of Elduurn in Unity.  This has been really good for me because I am planning on switching development from XNA to Unity.  The only lingering issue now is Siphon Spirit itself.

So I've been working on porting Siphon Spirit over to Unity.  I've heard too many time how this game would be perfect for tablets, and XNA just isn't going to get me there.  Okay, fine, it could with Monogame, but I'd rather stick with Unity now that I've been using it.  It's been quite nice for a lot of the orb stuff and I've managed to clean my code considerably.

Currently I've got all the parts working.  My next goal is to take a current level from the XNA version and load it up and get it all working correctly.  Wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

New Siphon Spirit Art,

Spirits of Elduurn is coming right along!  I've got a language system so it'll be much easier to get multiple translations in.  The new demon smashing mini-game is also near completion and just needs a touch of balance.

Aside from a few major things that I'm waiting until the last to do, I'm running out of things to work on.  So this morning I stopped and just played it. Decided to get really nit-picky and got a new list of little things to work on.  Lots of minor things that I can clean up fairly quickly.  That's something that I can appreciate since I'm getting a little worn out on Spirits of Elduurn.  After cleaning up this list I'm going to take a break and focus on porting Siphon Spirit over to Unity.

Tune in next time for some new art from Peter!

Friday, January 30, 2015

End of January Update

Peter's gotten a more steady schedule now which will allow him to get more art done.  He's also being more willing to let me help out on the cutscene scripting and the level design.  Siphon Spirit is definitely going to come out this year!

With that in mind I've been going through and polishing up a number of things in Siphon Spirit to make it a more smooth experience.  I'm also fiddling around with getting it into Unity so that we can get it on more things, like tablets.

But before I go too crazy getting Siphon Spirit in Unity, I've been working on porting Spirits of Elduurn first.  I'd love to get it on phones, tablets, vita, and basically everywhere that I can without eating up all of our meager resources.  I'm trying to take my port a step further, with some language support (Japanese and Spanish so far), and a purchasable extra set of levels.  It's coming along well and I hope to have a screenshot with some Japanese in it soon.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Spirits of Elduurn and Kana Match

Why is it that good habits are so easy to break?  Well, it's about darn time that I made another blog post!

During the time of my silence (burn out), we've released a few games and went to a convention!

Spirits of Elduurn is a puzzle game where you play as some spirits that brought life to the world of Elduurn.  If the art style looks familiar to Siphon Spirit, that's because they are in the same series, and take place in the same world!  We released it for free on Kongregate, so head on over and give it a play!

Kana Match: Learn Japanese is the Japanese puzzle game that I'd been working on.  After having put it out to play on Kongregate I realized that it needed to be much better to be a good tool for learning Japanese.  I'm probably going to scrap it and find another way to teach Japanese.

I'm going to try my best to keep more regular posts coming!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Japanese Puzzle Game Progress

I've been getting a lot of progress done on the Japanese Puzzle Game.  I'm just going to list out everything that I've done since the last post.

  • Redid the tile art to make it easier to read.
  • Enlarged the timer/background art so it was easier to see how much time was left
  • Changed the score to be larger, show the numbers increasing instead of jumping, and got it out of that little box.
  • Every time you get points it now shows the amount of points you earned.
  • Fixed a bug that would count matches multiple times (matching five in a row also gave you points for four in a row and three in a row!)
  • More than doubled the vocab list, with a lot more to come!
  • Matching four-in-a-row makes a new tile of the type you need to make a word.
  • Matching five-in-a-row makes two new tiles of the type you need to make a word.
  • The four-in-a-row tile will give you double points when you match it.
  • The five-in-a-row tiles will give you triple points when you match them.
  • Fixed a bug related to clicking, releasing, then clicking and dragging somewhere else.
  • Completely redid the exporting of the word data and loading it in so I could make a web version.
  • Added a score multiplier.  The longer you keep the puzzle going the higher the multiplier goes!

So yeah, I've been a little busy.  Here's what it looks like now!

Obviously, still pre-alpha.

Though with all of that said, I'm still trying to come up with a name!  Japanese Puzzle Game doesn't really roll off the tongue...