Tetrakinesis: Menu, Instructions, Reload Level, Load Main and Esc to Exit

Added Menus, Instruction Screen, Exit via pressing Escape, Reload Level and Back to Main Menu.  And some ambient loops for background music.

Prolly should add ambient loop to instruction screen.
Also should add the thump/click sound to menu screen buttons.  Issue there is when you click and play the sound then load new level, it starts to trigger the sound then BAM new level, and doesn’t complete playing the sound.

This is just how it is.  The problem is dealing with it is a pain in the arse, because you have to create a coroutine and wait for the song to finish playing.  Coroutines are a pain, IMO, but I know they’re necessary.

That’s the thing – no matter how easy you think a game is going to be there’s always SOMETHING that’s going to make it a little harder than you want.  That said, this is minor since I know what it is and how to do it (have to refresh via Google, of course).  And for the most part, all that’s left is setting up the score screen, and then few basic 3 & 4 grid levels as intro/starter levels, then lots of 5 grid levels.

“All that’s left” HA!

Tetrakinesis: Main Screen & Instructions

So, today was all about creating a little tutorial / instruction screen & the main screen.

It took me a bit to get things laid out right.  Unity can be a fickle jerk when it comes to UI layout and placement (3 different modes to layout on the screen; having to resize/rescale the elements to even render properly, and it’s just… a PITA).

I need to fix the button highlighting on the start menu.  Colors should match everything else in terms of highlighting/hovering, etc…  Right now they don’t.

I’m not terribly pleased with the wall of text for the instructions.  Ideally I’d sort of animate the shit and show/highlight things to “teach by example” but that’s more work than I care to do, frankly, and for a simple game like this, it’s not hard to a couple paragraphs of text.  Though I may need to revamp my example 2×2 grid to 3×3 to show what it looks like with having a move with a value of 2.  Or 3×3 could just be the first level, really.

Anyways, I think the next thing will be to work on detecting whether I’ve hit the last move (I tried earlier and it was not working as I expected, so need to put more brainpower into solving that issue).  The goal there would be to have the last square you’re on count towards the final score, so instead of n-1 for a final score (i.e. you clear all 24 squares of a 25 grid and land on a final one – the final one is cleared).

I’m thinking what I’ll do then, is for the instruction screen, hide the “Home” button until you complete the tutorial, then when all moves have been accomplished, display the home button.

This took more work than I wanted to apply today – so I think I’m done for now.  Makin’ progress, that’s what it’s all about (like the hokey-pokey, y’all!)

Tetrakinesis: Scoring

Today, I added an ambient loop (generated a few to work with, all basically the same loop or close derivative, with a few different synth patches for each loop).  I also got a little “thunk” sound for when clicking/tapping on a square.  So that’s good.

Now that I have the basic level working, the next trick will be to figure out scoring.  What I’m thinking of doing is each level will have a “stats” page for its score.

The basic stat display will be a graph of the top 5 scores of the player and how often they’ve reached them.  Something along that nature, not sure how I want to implement it yet.  Will probably talk it over with people to get a basic idea of what I’m shooting for.

Underneath will be a “Fastest to hit top score” counter.  It will include both the number of plays it took before you completed the level.  Possibly the time it took within that playthrough to reach the top score.

I’m thinking I also need to create a “level solver” utility to help find all the paths to completion of a level.  This will first – help ensure all levels I make CAN be completed, and second – it can allow a “star” system where the player can shoot for getting all possible solutions (not just clearing a level once).  In order to pass a level, they’d just need to clear it once (assuming there is one solution, then never have to return) but if more solutions, then they can shoot for the stars if they’re a completionist.

I’ve debated having different color schemes for some subsets of the levels, so my base one now is violet/purple/cyan.  But I can picture a cream/orange/brown/cyan level color scheme, too.  But that’s probably not going to happen, I’d rather work on gameplay mechanics and other forms of polish (different ambient loops for the audio).

So here’s a video with the little ambient loop/thunk sound…