Final steps towards Flip 2016 release

Although I’ve been mostly silent in this blog, lot’s of things have happened. The game is now in beta testing and cleared for a release on Steam on 16.02.2016 (or Feb. 16th 2016, for those who prefer the month first). The official page has been updated and we have a new Gameplay video. You can see how the game looks from the video and page. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from the new artwork, so I’m happy I decided to change it. The music is new, also, and it’s being made by one Jeremy Coubrough from NZ, who’s … Continue reading Final steps towards Flip 2016 release

Reviews and media

I’ve been quite busy these days doing press and promotion of the game so I had almost no time to post things here. But this promotional work has started paying off, as you can see in this nice review by Adam Smith at Rock Paper Shotgun: The press release was also mentioned on some sites, notably Gamasutra, and a couple reviewers have asked for copies, so I hope more reviews will come in the following days.

Usability, Design, and the three bears

Yesterday I showed Flip to three developers. The Big Developer was annoyed by the flashing sign that said “Too many moves”. He likes to tinker with things, try out possibilities, and the fact that the game told him that he was already beyond the move count felt frustrating to him. The Medium developer mostly ignored the sign, because he is used to playing games that tell you when you are not going to reach your objective. He played and solved some levels, and others he just skipped. The Small developer was not even aware that a sign was flashing on … Continue reading Usability, Design, and the three bears

Flip Released!

Yesterday Flip was released on Google Play ( and submitted to Amazon (approved, pending publishing). I am also awaiting pre-approval from Windows Phone marketplace, and working on the iOS version, which should be finished and tested in no more than a week. It’s been not so long since I started it, just over three months. Till now I did not work a lot on creating awareness, so for the following weeks I’ll focus on creating awareness and generating downloads, while working slightly on the idea for my new game.  

Quick Design Note: show, don’t tell… unless you have to.

As a player, would you prefer to be told “to revert your previous move, click on the UNDO button located on the bottom left corner“, or for such a button to be clearly shown to you, and when clicking it (after being subtly induced to do that), seeing the result? From my experience, most players don’t like reading and will ignore a text even as short as that. And when playing, they expect an active experience (interacting) rather than a passive one (reading). The trick is to induce them to do something without telling them explicitly . But sometimes some … Continue reading Quick Design Note: show, don’t tell… unless you have to.

Quick Design Note: Explain only one thing at a time

In an early tutorial to Flip I made a terrible mistake. In one step, I showed the player a move, and asked him to repeat it. In the next step, I showed another move, because I wanted to show that it was also possible, but asked the player to click the undo button (which appeared at the same time of the move). Of course, every single person I gave it for testing, tried to do the move they saw on screen. Do not try to explain two things at once, specially when players are just learning: they will probably ignore … Continue reading Quick Design Note: Explain only one thing at a time

Of puzzle game design, Threes and clones

Threes vs. the clones Probably most independent game developers have read by now the long post about cloning of their game, from the creators of the Threes. If not, I encourage you to read it now. I personally learnt about 2048 before Threes. Somebody showed it to me, proudly pointing out that it was made by a friend of him. He seemed unaware that his friend had cloned another game, and it would not surprise me if 2048 developer had no ill intentions at all (and the developers of Threes seem to hold nothing against him). The problem with puzzle games … Continue reading Of puzzle game design, Threes and clones

To Hint or not to Hint

I spent a lot of time at the beginning of the game development working in the generation of the puzzles. In logic puzzle games, puzzle generation is often puzzle solving. So then, when I generate a level, I also have the solution. In this case, the shortest route from the initial configuration to the final, “solved” one. That’s how I can say that a puzzle can be solved in N moves. But I know not only the amount of moves, but also which moves and in which order. And not only do I have the list of correct moves from … Continue reading To Hint or not to Hint