iPad Hidden Object Games - What do you care about?

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by PlayScreen, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Yes,

    I'm working on the design for a hidden object game. Five locations around the world.

    What I'm interested in, if you play these games, is what you care about? What features? Style of art etc...

    Examples of these games include:

    "Everest: Hidden Expedition", "Little Shop of Treasures", and "National Geographic: Herod's Lost Tomb."

    Thank you,

    William Volk
    CEO, PlayScreen
     
  2. Coldar

    Coldar Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2008
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    It will need a zoom in feature. All search item games should have this and those that do not haven't done well. I've got a few and can say it's something that's needed for this type of game. Yours might be different but for most search item games a zoom in feature is needed.
     
  3. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    I'm a hidden item game fanatic. I've got just about all of them on the iTouch/Phone platform.

    Here's what I look for in a hidden item game:

    1. If there is a zoom function, I appreciate the art doesn't get too blurry. There should also, naturally, be an option to pan the image.

    2. Both landscape and portrait mode support. In fact, screen flip (auto screen flip is fine for such games, as the accelerometer is rarely used in gameplay) is a desired function.

    3. In terms of art style...I like for the art to be somewhat realistic. Just a personal preference.

    4. Story mode. I love story mode in these games. Perhaps it's the adventure game fan in me, but I find hidden item games work best if I have some sort of reason to go about finding the items. Because, frustration will always sink in, as that is par for the course for such titles. If I'm frustrated and I think to myself "why am I subjecting myself to this?", there'd better be a damned good reason. Finishing the story, no matter how cliche or "just filler" it may be, gives me that reason.

    5. Free play mode. Some prefer it open from the get go, I like to have it be an unlockable once story mode is completed.

    6. Trophies/rewards. These are a must. The most obvious is "best time" in both story and freeplay modes. But there can be others. Yard Sale had some of the items become part of the players home decorations (in fact, the player is focused on finding those specific items, with the rest there to finish up the level). Everest: Hidden Expedition also unlocked, in addition to free mode, photos of an actual expedition to Mt. Everest. You can also hide trophies within locations as well as if they were items, but make them very hard to spot.

    7. I like timed gameplay. Others, however, do not. So an option to toggle timed or untimed would be appreciated.

    8. A hint system is a must as well. And it's not a bad idea to have hidden items that increase the available times you can use a hint or speed up hint usage "recovery" (if the hint system has a "wait to recharge" system in place).

    9. While not a must have, I like mini games between levels to break up the time spent finding items. Stone of Destiny had some of those, and I thought the stone puzzles pretty nice. And that last "hidden item" puzzle in that game was a great "boss puzzle" that tied the game and story all together.

    10. Above all else, make it clear what the player has to find. Hidden Treasures is, IMHO, a great hidden item game. But it's a British game, apparently, and the terminology for things are very different (ice lolly apparently means popsicle, for instance). So try to make each tailored for whatever region to which you'll be selling.

    11. Music. The music has to be sweeping, grand, epic. But...calming. Music, I find, is very important in games like this.

    ...

    Wow...that's quite a bit.

    Hope it all helps. :D
     
  4. tangerine

    tangerine Well-Known Member

    Nov 17, 2008
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    Hidden object games are my favorites. I agree that a sharp and clear zoom in feature is a must have. I prefer to play these games in untimed mode so please make that an option. I also like the mini games between levels but don't make them too hard. Their main purpose is just to provide a break from the intensity of trying to find the hidden objects.

    Please make sure that there is good contrast in your pictures. Herod's Lost Tomb had a lot of gray scenes and it was difficult to see the objects sometimes.
     
  5. Can't stress this one enough what spiffyone said. All the hidden object games I play on my mac I refuse to buy ones that are 800x600 and only buy ones that are 1024x768. I never ever will play them full screen as it distorts the image. On the iphone yes give us a decent zoom level two or three times but never distort the image. Make sure the image when maxed zoom is the actual size of the image. Can You See What I See? Dream Machine on PC/Mac let's you zoom in on each of 4 sections of screen with no distortion. So that might be a nice idea to have on the iphone. Overview then double tap to zoom in on four sections of the screen.

    Besides that just great artwork. There is one game I have yet to see on the iphone.

     
  6. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Thank you, these are great ideas.
     
  7. GatorDeb

    GatorDeb Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2009
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    I have about every find-the-hidden-object game, so say hello to your future customer :)

    - Untimed mode for sure.
    - Easy to understand object names
    - Tons of things to find!
    - Some atmosphere! I love it when some of the things in the background move.
     
  8. Palfince

    Palfince Well-Known Member

    Dec 30, 2008
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    +1

    Please have an option for American English and British English. Don't just have one version of English.
     
  9. preuve

    preuve Well-Known Member

    Dec 23, 2008
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    I quite enjoy the occasional hidden object game. I agree with spiffyone, that some kind of story helps me stick with the game.

    I particularly enjoyed one which had a game show theme. You had to find hidden objects to win money towards exotic destinations.
     
  10. PointOfLight

    PointOfLight Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2008
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    I think everyone has done a pretty good job of covering the basics. I will add my +1 to the zoom feature, though I really appreciated Stone Of Destiny because I was able to grab a lot of the objects without zooming, which I think is a testament to good item boundaries (not the term I'm looking for, but I'm drawing a blank at the moment).

    Storyline is a must, because without it there's not much separating one hidden object game from another. Again I point out Stone Of Destiny, and also Ravenhearst on the PC. It's nice having something tying the individual scenes together.

    Mini-games are cool, but they should either be relatively easy to solve or skipable without penalty. Ravenhearst is an example where I felt this was implemented poorly. The mini-games were nonsensical, which I realize had to do with the plot, but they often became frustrating and forced me to replay hidden object parts of the game because I couldn't complete the mini-games. And above all, please do not do the "find the differences" type mini-game. It's way over done and annoying.
     
  11. wolfhunt

    wolfhunt Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2009
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    Wow, Spiffyone pretty much covered everything that I look for.

    The one thing I would add are "mystery" objects. Yard sale had stars hidden that added time. A HO game on the xbox 360 where you chased villians had several calling cards the villians left that added time, score, or additional hints. I like these unlisted objects.

    A no hint mode would be nice. I know you can do this with any HO game but if the hint button is there I usually use it. Maybe add this to the modes (timed, relaxed, timed no hints, relaxed no hints).

    Yard sale has a find all objects mode (Sunnyville tour) when you complete the story mode. I really enjoyed that.

    Looking forward to what you come up with, I've always been a fan of these and look forward to more.
     
  12. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    So what is the best or better games of this sort on the iPhone?

    What are you playing?
     
  13. Kim

    Kim Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2008
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    I loved Yard Sale Hidden Treasures.

    I bought most of the other hidden game items, but none of them gave me the same satisfaction. I think it was the story in Yard Sale and the characters or themes of each of the locations where I had to go find the objects.
     
  14. wolfhunt

    wolfhunt Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2009
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    Yard Sale so far has been my favorite. The characters, story, and locations were great. Then fixing up and decorating the house gave some meaning to what you had to find. I'm doing the neighborhood tour now which is a nice addon.

    Will start on iSprill next.
     
  15. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    What I see in most of these games is you have somewhere around 12 objects per scene to find, with maybe 24 objects there. Random choice of 12.

    Is that correct in most cases?
     
  16. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    Yard Sale is very well done.
     
  17. wolfhunt

    wolfhunt Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2009
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    In the later rounds of Yard sale there were around 30 objects to find. As you found objects new ones would be added to the list until you found the total number. In tour mode you have to find all objects with around 8 objects being active at a time. Although some of these are multiple finds (EX: 5 hearts or 3 snakes. each item subtracting one from the number to be found but you must find them all to get that item off the list). Total number of objects per location range from 80 - 111.

    From the HO games I've played there seem to be at least a 4 to 1 ratio of objects hidden to objects to be found.

    I would suggest taking a look at Yard Sale Hidden Treasures: Sunnyville for a good idea of what makes a good HO game. They even have a lite version to check out.


    EDIT: From the above post I guess you were checking out Yard Sale while I was typing this.
     
  18. PlayScreen

    PlayScreen Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2009
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    The game is 'promotional' in nature. It is tied to a story.

    Yard Sale is indeed excellent. Better story tie-in than Everest or Herod's Tomb.

    The mini games are a nice touch as well.

    No rush here, the point is to do it right. I'd like to find a way of doing the zooming in a more innovative manner. Have to think about that.
     
  19. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    Yard Sale, as others have pointed out, is very well done.

    I'll also stick up for Stone of Destiny. IMHO it's the most "complete" of the games in terms of presentation (story, art quality, music, inclusion of mini games), although the "draw the rune" was a little overdone. The stone puzzles and the coffin puzzles were well done, however. And damn was that last "find the rune" hidden item board just brilliant.

    And Everest is just a top notch game. I especially liked the photo album of the real life Everest expedition. I don't know why, but I really felt a sense of accomplishment with that game.
     
  20. spiffyone

    spiffyone Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2008
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    The "spread finger and thumb" to zoom in thing, IMHO, feels natural because that's what is "normal" on iTouch/Phone (as that's how the zoom function is used in other types of iTouch/Phone software).

    I don't like the "double tap" method, as that sometimes leads to read mistakes, where the game thinks I've tapped on an object and I get penalized.

    iirc, there was a game that had a "magnifying glass" item, that you had select in order to zoom. Seemed like a waste for some, but I thought it was pretty good as pressing that item assured no accidental penalties.
     

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