|Turns out adding physics to a match-3 wasn't the best idea.|
Stuff ended up not falling very far before getting stuck and stopping all gameplay. I ended up putting in my own acceleration to make things better.
One of the biggest problems I've had when telling people about the match-3 I'm working on is that no one knows what I'm talking about. I almost always have to tell them "Like Candy Crush. Match three things and they vanish." Once I got past that past and told them how I'm going to make it an educational game, they are usually excited about the idea.
Since it's not very far along, I didn't want to have many people test it. That was a big mistake on my part. I've shown it to two people so far, and even just as a basic match-3 I could see there were some problems. I've got it set up for click and drag, but both of them clicked on a tile, then clicked on the tile they wanted to switch it to. Allowing that method of play is my next goal, after I finish building the database.
One other thing that showed up in testing was something that I was worried about. I had the board set up so that only one thing could happen at a time. You switched tiles? Nothing can happen until it either makes a match or switches back. That's pretty fast, so no worries there. You made a match? You can't make another move until the tiles are gone and new ones have fallen in to take their place. I kept telling myself that it would be okay, but I knew I wasn't being truthful. After watching their frustration watching the clock tick down while they couldn't do anything I knew I had to change it.
That took longer than expected, because I didn't plan it out well and my todo list just said "make it so you can match at any time", when really that should have been broken into smaller tasks to help me focus. It was basically a rewrite of the update function and I changed a LOT of stuff around. But as of today it's all working and it's much better than before for it.
I'm feeling pretty motivated to get this thing finished. There's a Japan Festival coming up on the 26th and I want to have it done by then. Will I be able to? I'm not totally sure. But I'm hopeful!