Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Intuitive Game Play

The next phase. Ermin is programming the WINNING pages now and I have asked gamer Ed Klutcharch to help us make the game play more "intuitive". I don't even know what that means yet! But it is exciting!

I do understand that after 5 or 10 minutes players lose interest; more needs to happen. More needs to happen faster!

Fast, fun, furious, five minutes!! I think most people need to get to a new level after 15 minutes! That'll get them back for more!

I have suggested a "Can't take it anymore" button that appears after 5 minutes of game play. If chosen the player gets a "gun" but also a swat team of men in white coats descend upon the board whose goal it is to shoot you with a tranquilizer gun, put you in a straight-jacket and take you out. Game Over! But what a way to go!

Somehow making the game easier to understand, levels, yes this may be needed to get players started. Welcome to the team Ed. We look forward to your full report!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Buttons, Buttons, who's seen the New Buttons?

We are almost ready for prime time!

We adjusted some of the potential for slowdowns; everything is fixed. I added the Credits, About Us, FAQ pages and links to the Instructions and NoEvil Productions from the game board.

I tested it on a variety of machines and found that on my Old Apple G4 the game was sluggish. Ermin has a solution which we will implement over the next few days. Overall I am confident that the game is running well on most systems and computers, especially since PCs have been set up to play games for alot longer than Macs.

Please invite your friends to test the game out; people you trust will give you their honest opinion. This week and next we will be added a membership function that will include awards for achievement. We want the ability for members (all free of course) to SAVE games and track "High Score" so that we can award prizes every month too. Membership will facilitate that.

I find myself watching Tom to get tips and tricks, since I have seen him win (it's set to win at 100 honest tribunes for the beta test period) twice. I am just not that good with the keys. But I still enjoy playing SubPow more than I have ever liked playing any game since Pong.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bugs update and new buttons

We added SKIP to the Intro animations, PAUSE and EXIT to the game, today.

We noticed that the feather sfx (chicken squawk) is looping and that is all I can find today that is not working.

Yes I think we need more towels; maybe the towels should come automatically when you get 20 bad politicians, instead of having to go to the Judge to convert these points.

I love the feature where you turn in evidence points to the Judge for more subpoenas, but PLEASE give me more towels so that I can play the game longer than 15 minutes. Please.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuning Time

I Have been playing the game quite a bit for the last couple of days and changing the values of certain variables.
The Instructions are succinct and do not explain the significance of the Lobbyist's briefcase, but it has an important effect on the game. ( It will need to be explained somewhere I suppose, along with the worth in evidence points of the characters.)
Each Congressman or Senator is either good or bad. At the beginning the probability of the outcome is set at 20%-80% ( good-bad). Each time you catch a lobbyist WITH his briefcase those odds change by 5% in favor of good. 20-80 goes to 25 -75. Then when you catch another lobbyist it changes again by 5% to 30-70 . And etc. to a limit of 80%- 20%. (The best odds we offer).
If The Lobbyist drops off his briefcase, but the Special Prosecutor ( you) finds it then the odds stay the same - no gain, no loss. BUT IF the Lobbyist drops it and the Sycophant finds it before you do, the odds change by 20% in the wrong direction. If, for example you had caught 6 Lobbyist with case and gotten the odds to 50-50 one completed hand-off of the bag of money will knock you right back to 20 -80. So even if you don't get the Lobbyist in time, keep looking for those hidden cases because they are worth more than just some evidence points.

Let me know how hard it is. Do we need more towels?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Mozilla Bug Fixed

Who knew that the DOCTYPE attribute could cause so many browser problems! Thanks to Ermin for pointing out that does NOT use DOCTYPE.

So SubPow works now on WIN and Mac versions of Firefox, Mac Safari, Windows Internet Explorer and Opera. This is good!

Now we can play to see HOW the game plays. We set the win to 100 Honest Tribunes and Tom was the first to win tonight! Adn it ain't easy. We have decided to make the game a "High Score" game, with no real win. There is an endless flow of new politicians, so you can just play forever, well at least until you lose, which I seemt o do within 15 minutes!

Thanks Tom for making it a real challenge. Now I want to add a way for the Special Proscecutor to get their hands on a gun!!

Full Screen Game

Wow what a day! Turns out that Internet Explorer for Windows takes over events; ie the ESC button is used by IE. So we have to figure out another way to do a QUIT button. In fact we are thinking about a PAUSE and RESUME feature as well.

Tom has been playing with the variables in order to balance the challenge and the fun of playing the game. He's made it harder and now I am losing every game. But I still get to play it for about 15 minutes or so before I lose.

In order to fix the problems we were having with the keys not working in the game if you clicked outside the Flash area (which is pretty easy to do) we created a full screen Flash browser window, now it works brilliantly in IE v6 on PC and I would love to get feedback about how it works on Firefox or any/all other browsers.

It has always worked on Mac OS X Safari and Firefox, but that is because these browsers do not have the "focus" issues. I always insist that everything we use works on all platforms, all modern browsers, and of course since 85% of the known Internet universe works on some flavor of PC/Internet Explorer, this is most important. But as a Machead I also insist that it works brilliantly on my machine. I no longer worry about Mac OS 9 or earlier, nor Windows98 or earlier. WinXP and OS X have been around now for over 4 years, almost 5. We can safely design for them and reach 80% of our audience, maybe more since it will be Broadband users who play online games.

What do you think?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

link from blogspot

the link from the Blogspot page takes you to "" which is something totally different in chinese! - just needs the "b" inserting

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Couple of observations

Just a couple observations, the instructions button is the rough, and when you mouse over it it shows the cleaned up version.

Also, I don't know if it was intended, but when you jump and press up from the bottom floor, you get to the top without the stairs or elevator. The same from the top, you can jump and press down and go back to the main floor.

I'll keep playing to see if I find any issues :) Looks good so far.


Internet Explorer v6.0.26 bug found on PC

We have programmed the ESC (escape) key to be able to exit the scene but this does not work on a PC yet.

The keyboard strokes do not work on a PC if you click anywhere outside the game area on your browser. To get it to work again just click anywhere inside the game frame. This is just a workaround for testing. This will be fixed.

SubPow launches Beta

I am pleased to report that SubPow is currently in Beta testing.