Puzzle Legends - a puzzle game with a retro feel

(Nazo Systems) #1

Hello everyone! We have finally manged to release our first game. It’s a puzzle game inspired by the Adventures of Lolo games. Please give it a try.


For those that had problems with the previous site the game has now been uploaded to Newgrounds. Also now it has medals.

(Bora Kasap) #2

Code & graphics looks really good! It’s almost a classic game. So, i’ve nothing to say anything about gameplay :slight_smile:

(Nazo Systems) #3

Thanks for trying it out!

(Abel Toy) #4

Really interesting and nice little game!

Completed the first tower with every coin and artifact. Will get back to it later!

(John Andersson) #5

Never visiting snapbreak again. I have never seen as much ads as on that site.

The game was pretty nice. I liked the music, very keygen-esque.

(Nazo Systems) #6

Sorry for that. It’s the sponsor’s site. He payed for the game so I can’t really complain. But thanks for giving it a try.

(Nate ) #7

I would love to try this out but SO many darn ads D: I was unable to get the game to play.

PS. Put it on NG or something! ;D

(Nazo Systems) #8

Right now I have my hands tied. The sponsor has the right to a 2 week exclusivity period. But if you really want to try it out and the ads get in your way that much, you could use Google Chrome in combination with AdBlock, not an advice I usually give but in this case I don’t really mind.

(azrafe7) #9

Nice game! Kinda reminds me of a certain LD28 Jam entry, hehe :smirk:

(Nazo Systems) #10

Link to game has been changed to Newgrounds.

(Ultima2876) #11

This is really cool. I love the art style especially! If you have any interest in mobile publishing, shoot me a PM.

(Ani Mittra) #12

Pretty cool game! Definitely nailed the retro feel. Tell us about the development! How long did it take, were there any parts that were particularly hard to program, how did you design the puzzles, etc?

(Nazo Systems) #13

Thanks for trying it out and for the question! The game was made in 6 months. It didn’t actually take that long to make as we didn’t work constantly on it in this time span. Personal problems occurred, and sometimes we even slacked for days because our “working spirit” went missing.

Also this is the first time we ever did something like this. Well not exactly the first time. We did experiment with Flash and FlashPunk before this, but somehow that experiment failed and we had to started from scratch, but that’s a good thing. The previous project was just too ambitious. We pressed every wrong button there is to press when making your first game. Anyway, the current project turned out better thanks to the experience gained from the previous “failed” one (we actually think that our first project is a success thanks to the experience gained from it).

One problem we ran into while making the game was the tutorial. All of the puzzles you see in the game went through multiple chains of modifications, some of them were even scrapped for difficulty reasons. Anyway, the tutorials were especially hard to make because we wanted to make tutorials that felt like they were part of the game, tutorials that didn’t nag the player. If you look closely you can see that the levels are actually constructed so that the player can learn about the game’s mechanics by seeing them in action.

Now 2 problems arose:

1. We had too many mechanics and not so many levels in which to properly showcase them. That meant that the player would see the mechanic “tutorialized” only once and after that he would have to deal with the hardships by himself.

2. The young audience… or the casuals… they would just enter the game, look around the first level and not know what to do. Man did that felt like a pain. But you can’t fault them. They haven’t experienced games like we did. So yea, we had to find a solution for them too.

Solution for problem number 1: We originally had 7 levels per tower. So we made that 8 levels per tower. That was our solution and while it did help it looks like it still wasn’t enough.

Solution for problem number 2: We REALLY didn’t want to nag the player. This was and is a rule of thumb for us. So here’s what we did at first. We made some sign posts that explained to the player how the mechanics in that level worked and what he was supposed to do. The signs would have to be accessed by the player in order to be read just so experienced players, that didn’t want to read them, could simply avoid them, thus making everyone happy. While it didn’t feel like someone was forcefully shoving information down your throat it did fell boring and tedious, having to read a huge chunk of text in order to able to play the game. Here’s when we came up with what I think was an awesome idea. Let’s put illustrative pictures instead of blocks of text. While that worked well there still remained a small amount of people that still didn’t get it and we didn’t want to leave them out. And so we simplified the previous text blocks and added them along side the pictures. And looks like that did the trick.

This is part 1. If you want we could write down a part 2 where we talk about other stuff we encountered.

(Ultima2876) #14

Interesting post-mortem. Would love to read more.

(Nazo Systems) #15

Here we go.

About the puzzles, you could split those it 2 categories, puzzles made by the designer and puzzles made by the programmer (with help from the designer in order to help the player understand the levels easier, because otherwise the game would feel like trying to decipher someones programming code…). Most of the puzzles leading to tower 3 are made by the designer and most of the puzzles from tower 3 are made by the programmer. The difference is in the difficulty. There was one hard, almost absurd, puzzle made purposely by the designer in order to emulate a “How was I supposed to know that!?” moment specific of the games of old (Tower 3, level 7, the penultimate level of the game). One thing that we’re really proud of is the inclusion of what we call side puzzles. These are optional puzzles within the level that, if completed, reward the player with coins and collectibles, but are not required for the level’s beating.

Programming was pretty smooth thanks to the experience gained from the previous project and thanks to help from the FlashPunk community. One problem that stood out was the making of Torus, the bull guy. We wanted him to be a menace, unforeseeable, and dangerous and I think we did a pretty good job. Oh wait, there’s more. In the game, right now, we can only have one magnet but multiple iron blocks per level. We originally wanted more magnets but programming them resulted in just too many exceptions that we had to program, never mind the bugs, so we left just one. Another one. Originally we wanted the player to be able to buy upgrades with the coins he gathered simply because, in our mind at least, upgrade mechanics went well with flash games these days. The only upgrade-able thing that we came up with was life. Yes the player had some sort of life bar in the beginning. All that, including the players life bar, was completely scrapped as it didn’t go well with the game.

If anyone is curious about anything else please ask away!

(Quang Tran) #16

Congrats on your first game release! I’m making a game with puzzle elements too and it’s interesting to read about how much care you guys put into the puzzle elements!

I’m curious how you guys found your sponsor? Did you use fgl.com? If so, can you share your experience of how that went?

(Nazo Systems) #17

Thanks and great question.

We did use fgl. Everything up until the part where we had to find a sponsor went well. When we put it up for bid we had to wait about 2 weeks, if I remember correctly, to get a decent bid. Now here’s where the problems arose. While we weren’t naive enough to accept a deal in which we had to give him the game first and get the money later we were naive enough to accept a deal in which we had to wait 3 weeks before we could actually end the deal, because he didn’t have the money on him at that time. You might say to yourself “hey 3 weeks is not that long of a period now is it?”. The thing is that one of us was in a very bad economical situation, and those around him got really sick of his “game money making thing” that he had going on for far too long, and it was understandable as to why that was. Also the biggest problem with this 3 weeks waiting period is that the sponsor told us about it right after accepting the bid. You could say that we were deceived even. It was such a low blow and we didn’t expect it. Oh and that’s just the beginning. The 3 weeks waiting period turned in to a nightmare of a 1 month and 2 weeks waiting period, time in which the sponsor rarely and I mean RARELY answered our emails, time in which we actually tried finding other sponsors but to no avail and time in which we actually lost all hope of the game ever seeing the light of day. It was so hopeless that one of the developers, the one that I told you about earlier, started working in constructions, for a short amount of time what’s true. Man was that a nerve wrecking, heart breaking, dream destroying experience. We got a little sample of how bad things taste in life you could say. Now lets get on to the good stuff. At last, after 1 month and 2 weeks had passed the sponsor contacted us saying that he got the money… but not all of it… “you said you were getting to the good stuff, this is not good stuff” you might be telling your self. You would be kind right, but the sponsor did give us the entire payment but split in 2 parts, the second part being received right next week after the first one.

The following, while part of the experience, has little to teach you about the game sponsoring business, but i really really want to talk about it. If you are interested in the human aspect of the outcome please read on. After all that has been said and done we went to the bank and withdrew the money. Now before I get into what I want to get into let me give you a little flashback to this story. When we began making the game we would always dream of how’s it going to be when we got rewarded for all our hard work, “it’s gonna be awesome” we said, “it’s gonna be amazing”… “it’s gonna be crazy” and almost crazy it was. Now here I was, holding my rightfully earned stack of plastic sheet like things… looked at it for quite a while… studding it like… and I felt empty. Questions like “was all that hell that I wen’t through worth it?”, “did I really have to get on the nerves of those close to me for this?” started popping in my head. After that, I kind of shook the feeling off, grabbed my dev buds and went to buy presents for those that put up with our crap for this entire time. That was the best decision I made in all of this, not the decision to make better tutorials, not the decision to add more levels, not any other developmental decision that made the game better and let me tell you why. As developers we pride ourselves with making clever little things that make our players feel rewarded for their hard work, that glittering coin, that awesome treasure, that pat on the back at the end of the level. If we pride ourselves with that then we better make sure to reward those without which we wouldn’t be able to be developers. That is one of our main philosophies. So yea, that might not resonate with everyone seeing as how were all from different countries and cultures but I really wanted to get that out there,

Now were working on our next game, a retro platformer.

Anyway thanks for reading and for the question!

P.S. This was a somewhat unfortunate experience and I don’t think that all of fgl’s customers are like that.

(Quang Tran) #18

Wow, Thanks for taking the time to talk about your experience in detail and the personal toll it took on you guys! Sorry to hear your sponsorship experience was difficult. I’m planning on looking for a sponsorship through fgl soon as well. I quit my job and moved back home to create this game, so I’ll be sure to get my parents nice gifts for having put them through difficulty.

(Ultima2876) #19

That unfortunately sounds very, very familiar ._.

(Nate ) #20

This game is sweet! Was it made with FlashPunk?

Also, I read the saga here about sponsorship and such. What exactly is involved with that? You finish your game, and slap it on FGL then wait for someone to pay you money outright for all the rights to your game? Or is it like, they pay you, then they advertise your game via their company and they collect like 20% of game revenue while you as the developer get like 80%? Something like that?

I have a few games that I could easily polish up and attempt to get sponsored, but I do not know anything about the nitty-gritty details regarding sponsorships.