Changes: Visual, Functional, and Programmed

Changes are happening in my game. Lots of those changes are minor UI layout tweaks that are uninteresting to talk about. Bit of experimenting, little movements to make big differences, that type of things. But I have been making some more substantial changes too.

First Biggish Change

For the pre-made levels mode, there is a visual indicator of if you have previously completed a level before and if you have solved the level optimally. At first the indicator was a big “X”, but that had always been a placeholder. Next I tried a star shape to go with the twinkling star effect I put in the background, but that didn’t mesh as well as I had hopped. Then I settled on a circle that was filled with a dot when the appropriate condition was true. But recently an idea was suggested that I should have tried much sooner.

The idea was simple: Just have the word disappear and appear as needed. Having the entire word showing up and disappearing will draw the user’s eye, showing the change. I may add a few subtle effects to the appearing (very subtle animations to help draw the eye), but just goes to show that I should always strive to follow the K.I.S.S. principle. Keep It Simple Stupid.

Upcoming Change

The next change will take a bit more untangling and reworking than the last one. I am reworking the difficulty select for the randomized puzzles. Currently it is a drop down with the options of: easy, medium, hard, or custom. The rework is three fold.

First and foremost I am changing the dropdown to a spinner design. Originally I didn’t know what platform I would be releasing on, but now I have narrowed down to a mobile release. I light of that, I am trying to eliminate dropdown boxes wherever feasible, to avoid people fat fingering the wrong option.

Next is to remove the “custom” difficulty option. I liked the option at the start, but in light of various design decisions I have made, I have decided to scrap it. Which leads to the third change.

Up to this point when you selected a easy, medium, or hard difficulty puzzle it would give you a puzzle with a preset number of moves needed to complete it. This change is to add a small randomized element. So instead of always giving a puzzle that needed 4 moves to complete an easy puzzle will need between 3-5 moves to complete. This will be reflected in the Target # the player can see, so they know how many moves they are expected to make.

Beyond All That

Those are the immediate changes I am making to my game. But some other things are in the pipeline that I have planned. But I can’t talk about everything all at once. Besides, if this project has taught me 1 thing it is this: Plans need to be fluid and you can’t stubbornly hold onto one idea.