iPad Mouse House, Dropped to 0.99!!!

Discussion in 'iPhone and iPad Games' started by superbad, Nov 10, 2008.

  1. superbad

    superbad Well-Known Member

    Nov 6, 2008
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    #1 superbad, Nov 10, 2008
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
    dropped to 0.99 now. thinking of finally taking a bite...

    how is this game?
     
  2. jlake02

    jlake02 Well-Known Member

    Oct 17, 2008
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    Never heard of this one
     
  3. arn

    arn Administrator
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    Apr 19, 2008
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    it's not bad. worth $0.99. it's sort of like loopy laboratory. similar level-based puzzles and obstacles.

    I have issue with the control system. same problem with pathways, in that you have to tap on the screen relative to your character. I find it awkward.

    arn
     
  4. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    Bought it, like it. But I'll wait with playing more until the update arrives, because it currently has no sound and the control scheme sucks big. Should be like in mouse about or bomberman.
     
  5. TheBunny

    TheBunny Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2008
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    As the creators of Mouse House We have to disagree here.

    Both My self and Alex think Bomberman has one of the worst possible control systems on the iphone.

    Reading through the bomberman reviews many user found it very frustrating.

    Personally it makes my thumb cramp up even trying to use it like a D-Pad


    The mouse about system is interesting.
    Not sure it would work good for Mouse House as it does not allow
    for the fast control needed to dodge enemies in an arcade game.

    Right now we are designing all of out control schemes and engines around what have been proven to work well on a DS with a stylus for input.
     
  6. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    Hmm. Do you see differences between Bomberman and Mouse About? I also don't like the Bomberman scheme in faster levels, but for slower levels it works nice and you can change the direction without the need of another tap.

    In Mouse House I often run into the wrong direction, because I tap on the low right of the mouse and want it to run to the left, but it then runs down... It's also difficult to move the mouse when you are in the bottom left corner, because there's also the pause button and since you have to tap left of the mouse, you sometimes hit the pause button.

    I would really prefer an input method like Mouse About has. And of course, swiping everywhere is easier the tapping at a specific position.
     
  7. alza

    alza Well-Known Member

    Oct 21, 2008
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    What other control scheme would work here? Is what annoys you that sometimes it's hard to press relative to the character?
    The only thing I could come up with was a virtual dpad or something, but maybe I'm missing the point.
     
  8. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    In Mouse About you just tap anywhere on the screen and then swipe into the direction you want to go. That's very intuitive and fast and does not involve repositioning your finger every time and hiding where you wanna go.

    Also, Mouse About displays a little display when you start the tap. Without the tap, there's no on-screen-display.
     
  9. BrettArchibald

    BrettArchibald Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2008
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    Not sure I understand why there should be such a problem moving an on-screen character...

    Surely the most logical method is:
    - Swipe once in any direction to move one space in that direction.
    - Swipe-and-hold in any direction to continue moving in that direction.

    Easy, yes?

    I can't say I've tried out this game yet, as the reviews berating the control system put me off it somewhat, but at a mere 59p now, I'll download it and give it a whirl.

    Arn's comparison of this game to Loopy Laboratory is what's mainly selling it to me though.
    Speaking of which, now there's a game that adopts the control method I outlined above, and that game works brilliantly!
     
  10. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    They have both ways, but instead of swiping you tap. And therefore you have to tap near the character, so that the game knows which direction (relative to the character) you mean.
     
  11. arn

    arn Administrator
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    You should download loopy laboratory for a control system that seems to work very well. The problem with the relative controls is like someone else posted, I find myself going in the wrong direction at times, since you have to constantly reposition your fingers as your character moves.

    this also makes it very difficult to play one-handed.

    arn
     
  12. TheBunny

    TheBunny Well-Known Member

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    I have had at least 1 request for a non relative control scheme.

    Which I did try at 1 point and found to be a horrible experience.

    Also in real world beta testing I saw 2 things.

    a tendency to always want to control the mouse, mouse relative, and also
    and odd tendency to do a finger drag.... I say odd cause this was coming from non iphone users who had no idea about apples suggested GUI use.
    This is very different from watching people use a DS with a stylus so far.
    I don't have a good reason for why users are doing it.

    I may put it back in as an option since its fairly easy to implement.

    If I add in any more control scheme Im going to have to re do all the
    prefs screens.

    Remember every feature asked for takes days to implement ;)
     
  13. TheBunny

    TheBunny Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2008
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    So Talking to cyates on IRC

    It sounds like some users are touching to close to the player
    and accidentally triggering the wrong direction.

    1 easy way to fix this is to use the thumbs to control the game and do not touch near then mouse.

    Another thing I can probably easily do is TUNE the touch zones in the code...

    Currently they are 90 arcs

    but the could easily be 45 degree or rect tangles which would result in a nice dead some been arc and probably cut down on accidental direction triggers.

    I need to sit down and play with this when I have time.
     
  14. BrettArchibald

    BrettArchibald Well-Known Member

    Jul 17, 2008
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    I took the plunge and downloaded this game, and here are my thoughts.
    First of all, having played through all of the tutorial levels, and a handful of "proper" levels after that, this appears to be a really great game. A lot of thought has obviously gone into designing the levels and the traps and the characters. If I'd seen a gameplay video of this before all the price drops, I would have bought it at full-price.
    However, and here comes the negative, I do fully agree with the general consensus that the control system is not nearly as good as it could be.
    Tapping in a direction that is relative to the character can be quite frustrating because you are constantly having to change where you have to tap - people are used to having controls in one place, and tapping in all various places on the screen is not something that feels "right" or "natural".




    and

    I can't contribute any opinions on how Bomberman works, not having downloaded it myself, but I can say this - and it comes from experience... Sometimes what seems to be the best method for one person is not what is the best method for the majority of the public.
    I recall a thread here on this site where I questioned the control method for an overhead racing game that had three buttons: left, right & forward. The problem I had with it was that when the car is going "up" then left and right work great, but when the car turns through 180-degrees, then the left button actually turns the car "right" (as you see it from above).
    I personally thought this was a crazy method to have and I questioned why anyone would implement such a crazy set-up, and suggested that instead of having just three buttons (left, right & forward), perhaps have left, right, up & down, and have it so that left always moved the car left, regardless of whether it was pointing up or down at the time.
    My theories were then dealt a swift blow when each and every single reply I got said that the method that had been implemented was the best method and the method that they preferred.
    I'm rambling a bit here, but the point is, no matter how strongly we feel about something, if 90% of the rest of the public disagrees with a game's control method, then surely they've got a point.
    And that applies whether we're the developer of that game or simply a "spectator". In fact, I'd say that it's even more important for the developer of the game, as it's the public who will buy your games and pay you money for them. If they don't like something about it, then they don't buy it and it's you who will lose out.




    Now this is something I can relate to, because I have downloaded Mouse About (another great game, albeit quite different).
    For those who don't know, the method used in Mouse About is that you swipe your finger in a certain direction (up, down, left or right) ANYWHERE on-screen and your mouse will then move in that direction.
    It is slightly different though in that you don't ever get to move just one square only. You start to move your mouse in one direction, and he will then continue to move in that direction until he hits an obstacle (or falls of the edge of the screen).
    So whilst I do feel that the "swipe-anywhere" method certainly is the best method, it can't be replicated exactly as is, because in Mouse House you do need to be able to move your character just one square at a time sometimes (often).
    I highly recommend and suggest you download and try Loopy Laboratory, if you haven't done so already. Apart from being a really great game, it has got the simplest, best, easiest, most intuitive and most natural control method for moving a character around a grid-based screen. It is as I mentioned earlier in this thread:
    - Swipe once (anywhere on-screen) in any direction to move one space in that direction.
    - Swipe-and-hold (anywhere on-screen) in any direction to continue moving in that direction.
    Using this method, I would disagree with your comment above where you say "Not sure it would work good for Mouse House as it does not allow for the fast control needed to dodge enemies in an arcade game". I would say the opposite, in fact. I think it would allow you to move faster, because you wouldn't have to think about where you need to tap (ie: relative to your character's current position on-screen) - you just swipe-and-hold ANYWHERE toy have your character fly along a straight line. You want a sudden direction change? Simple: take your finger off the screen (from the previous swipe-and-hold move), and then swipe-and-hold again in a different direction this time.
    Again, and sorry to go on about it, but in Loopy Laboratory, in some levels you do have to not only move about fairly rapidly, but also do some quick direction changes, all in order to avoid spiders who'll kill you if you get in their way.




    Interesting comment this, but I'm not sure what to make of it. Surely this kind of game on a DS would be best controlled by the 4-way control pad, not a stylus?
    And anyway, just because something works well with a stylus doesn't necessarily mean it'll work well with a chubby finger. A stylus is a more precise instrument, with a pin-point tip. Chubby fingers sometimes find it more difficult to hit a small target, as I found in the random example below.
    I found myself at this point after having followed the obvious route - marked out with a red line on the screenshot. At this point, I now only have a very very small strip at the top of the screen where I can hit to move my mouse through the door. Look at the size of the whole screen, and then compare it to space I have available to me to move my character. There's a big difference and a lot of "wasted move space". Sure, okay, I COULD have made my mouse turn a few squares earlier, but I was just keeping him on a straight line after he moved through the gap in the wall, and sure, it's not THEE most difficult thing in the world to hit that area - but then on the other hand, it could be made much easier, right?

    [​IMG]



    Yes, please do! :)
    I appreciate that changing things takes time, but if it makes your paying customers happier, then surely it's all worth it in the end, right? ;-)

    To close off here, sorry for going on and on about this for so long, and if you managed to read through it all, then you've got the patience of a saint... It's just that I really do love this game, but in it's current form, it's quite frustrating to play.
     
  15. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    Just to make that clear: Mouse House was on my Shopping List at the full price after seeing it once. Then the price drops came, with a dollar every single day. It waited and bought for 1 buck, so you missed money from me ;)

    I now stopped playing this game and wait for a control update. Be sure, that the control issue plays a bigger role for me than the missing sound :).

    As some mentioned Loopy Laboratory, how do you control the character there?
     
  16. ITrocks

    ITrocks Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2008
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    BrettArchibald, excellent. Wonderful write-up. TheBunny-check out everything in his post, it basically sums up everything said.
     
  17. arn

    arn Administrator
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    Apr 19, 2008
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  18. I stopped playing it too waiting for control update. Bought it at when it was $2. More than 50% of the time I'm making a mistake moving in not the intended direction. Same reason haven't bought pathways or whatever its called cuz arn warned us about the control scheme.
     
  19. TheBunny

    TheBunny Well-Known Member

    Nov 8, 2008
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    I will in time....

    1. Tweak the hit zones on the mouse to avoid overlapping touches to close to the mouse.

    2. Add non mouse relative movement.

    3. Add a Mouse about style control system.

    4. Sound FX.

    Right now I have a number of bug fixes and engine improvements Im working.

    Unfortunately all this looks like at least 1 months of full time work :(
     
  20. Oliver

    Oliver Well-Known Member

    Woah. One month for adding the swipe detection to the tap and remove the position binding to the mouse? And wasn't the sound finished 98% when you submitted the game to apple? Sounds like a too pessimistic prognose (I'm a programmer myself),

    Since you dropped prices daily, did this had a positive effect on the sales numbers? I mean, when you say "fulltime", this means mouse house has to pay your food...
     

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