Thank you all for your feedback on the game jam and on the entries. Here's my feedback for each of the entries, thank you all for taking the time to enter!
Also, please note that I played most/all of these games for longer than you see in the recordings. In fact, by the end of the first recording I had figured something new out about the game that made it a lot more fun, so I ended up rerecording several of them to put their best foot forward.
- Box Boxer in Boxland - This game was a bit difficult to play, as it wasn't always clear how close I was to falling to one side or another. I would suggest adding another/more obvious animation/graphic to indicate that all is lost if the player doesn't act in under 2 secs. I would also consider increasing the walking speed a little and adding a quick way to restart on death (slow fade out to title screen is annoying when dying a lot).
- Button Rule - I agree that this was probably the simplest of the games to play, though I also found it a bit tedious to have to tap and wait before releasing. I generally recommend against forcing the player to wait unnecessarily during gameplay, as it gives them the opportunity to get bored and may leave the game (as I would have done). I also would've loved some sort of feedback to let me know that I'm on the right track. Otherwise I just feel like I'm spinning my wheels and wasting time!
- Candy Plane - A simple and cute Flappy Bird style game that I actually felt a little more comfortable playing than most. You might considering adding a bit more variety to the type of enemy and ramp up difficulty a bit slower to allow the player a bit more time to get a feel for the controls. I'd also suggest reducing the hittest on your plane. Check the final death of the video. I felt cheated.
- Hold - Definitely a simple game with a simple core loop... but I'm afraid it got boring really quick. I think this game could be made into a really fun and creative game if you put a bit more time into it. Though, rather than just forcing the player to sit and wait, I'd highly suggest giving them some reason not to sit still. Perhaps the level folds in on itself from the sides over time and the player needs to build it back out to maintain maximum pointage.. or perhaps obstacles/enemies start wandering across the screen... or maybe the device starts vibrating, making noises, flashing colors, or any number of fun/crazy/funny things to keep the player entertained while enticing them to stop Holding. Could be fun!
- I Love My Circle - This game actually took me a little bit to understand, and I think the video shows that pretty well. However, once I figured out my goal was to get the dot back into the circle as quickly as possible, it started feeling like I was just waiting for the next wave to start spamming the center of the phone again. I think this game would be more fun if you increased (2-3x) the out of circle death timer. Then over time, shrink the circle and fade it away, while simultaneously spawning 1-2 more in various locations around the screen. I love the clean look & feel!
- Kape - I had to play this one a few times before I could really guess at what was going on, and even now I suspect the strategies and mechanics of this game go much deeper than I've been able to figure out so far. While highlighting the highest number in the row does make it easier to figure out what's going on, it also turns this into a mindless game until you understand the more complex details. I suspect you'll hear a lot of this during testing, "So... I just tap the highlighted numbers? I won/didn't win? Why?". I'd suggest simplifying the game either via graphics (get away from numbers if possible) or with easier to comprehend numbers (for example, use 1-6 Sudoku style for the first level in the video). If you wanna get fancy you could add a mouseDown event to show what the board would look like if they mouseUp on the selected number.
- Money Machine - Simple money grabbing game, that actually could be made a lot more fun with a few simple tweaks. Here are a few ideas if you'd like to build something out quickly! Send the money in waves, require a % (not 100%) to pass or something like "Collect $80 to pass!", start at 3/4 current speed, rotate angle the money comes in from as waves progress (sides, diagonals, ultimately could be actively rotating during a wave, causing a spiral), and as an added bonus use Fruit Ninja style physics to periodically lob coins on/off the screen. Could have fun with that, heh.
- Mr.Bootleg - This was a simple and fun little platformer that I would have felt compelled to continue playing if I hadn't gotten stuck on the level at the end of the clip. During previous playthroughs I did manage to get up to the platforms on the top right, but could not figure out how to get up to the top left. This game would benefit from a slightly reduced hitTest on the hero, as I felt cheated on a couple close calls. Of course added variety to obstacles/enemies/upgrades would all make this game more fun to play, but you could still do a lot just with level design. Nicely done!
- O - I had a lot of fun with this one and was caught off guard a couple times (which spurred the laugh caught in the recording). I noticed some serious frame rate issues in the video that were not present in the game and was most disappointed in the quality of recording for this game in particular. There's a depth of adrenaline pumping feeling that gets lost in the recording due to it cutting in and out. For this game I think you mainly just need some more effects. Things like death animations, end of level screen, bonuses/coins, and perhaps even an upgrades system could be added to give it more depth. Or if you want to get really fancy, you could start warping the circle even more dramatically, until it starts looking more like a winding race track.
- PnP - Super simple game with a super simple premise. It took me a few to figure out what I was supposed to be doing, but once I figure it out it was good for a play through or two. If I had friends I might challenge them to beat my score, though I'd probably need to get hooked in a bit more. If there were achievements or other top/goal scores, then I might feel more compelled to give it another go or two.
- Poto - I thought this was a cute and fun little game that could instantly be significantly improved by replacing that music with something that's not so repetitive. I enjoyed using the Q*bert style movement to climb the cliff and actually think this game could be turned into something really fun to play. I would definitely suggest making it a level/checkpoint based game with upgrades available at the base camp of the next level. I never did figure out the spikes, but I'm guessing their just timed? Might be fun to toggle them with each jump, rather than having to try to race past the spikes, if that's the case.
- Simply - This game was actually the most difficult for me to figure out how to play. By the end of the first recording I'd figured out that I could fly the Yin Yang, by the end of the second recording I figured out that I could shoot, so what you see is the third recording for this game... and by then... I'd figured out how to make the game boring by spamming the enemy seeking bullets. I would highly suggest moving the joystick to the bottom left corner of your screen, move the Fire button to the bottom right corner, and move the hero to the center of the screen. When I first used the joystick, I couldn't figure out what I was affecting because I ran the hero into the side/corner of the screen without noticing! If you keep the buttons close to each other, reduce the hitTest on both. It repeatedly yanked the joystick to the side when I was spamming the Fire button.
- Skill Box - A solid game mechanic that is both simple and fun. Well done! Some simple suggestions; Stairs!, moving platforms, variety of enemies, and possibly upgrades (double/triple jump, dash 2-3 to the right, etc)
- SummoBot - Solid 1st prototype of a fighting game! This was the only game (that I noticed) that used the Accelerometer of the device in their game. Unfortunately, this was not obvious, which is why the hero character doesn't really move until half way through the clip. You can clearly see when I figure it out. Clearly a lot more work to do for this game to be market ready, but it's a good start!
- Survive At All Costs - I didn't understand the objective, the controls of this game at first, which is why I exited the first time and returned (looking for title screen, instructions, or anything I might've missed). However, once I discovered that I could tap the enemies, it quickly turned into a spamming game that didn't seem to offer any reason to want to spam. By the end of the video I felt like I could defend the hero at that rate forever, so I turned it off.
- The Simplest Game Ever - This game would be a lot easier/more fun if the circle was about half it's current size. At it's current size I found it frustrating and sometimes completely impossible to keep alive. It is a simple avoider game, but it's got a decent look & feel that could be polished up into something unique and fun. Might be worth spending a little more time on this one!
- Unlimited minimalistic pinball-fly mix - Interesting idea to mix the pinball and flying genres (and actually one that I could see being successful if executed well). Ideas for future development, start the game on an (upgradable) pinball plunger for the initial launch, then bring the (upgradable) paddles into play as soon as the plunger leaves the screen and keep them in play at the bottom of the screen until the (upgradable) ball goes down the hole. Once the prototype is solid, get an artist to make it pretty and you could have something really fun to play!
- Vanish It! - I thought this was a clever idea, but unfortunately the gameplay got old really quickly. I like the idea of rotating the image, though I suspect that you may need to add an outline of some kind for it to be possible/interesting. I think this game would benefit greatly from a timer (either quick time limit or multiplier for score) and it feels like it's missing something, though I can't put my finger on it.
- Zag Zig - Classic take on a Marble Madness style game. I liked the concept of having the path appear before you and the simple controls of swiping to move, though I had a bit of trouble with the controls/graphics at the start. You could instantly improve this game by changing the ground color to something less dark and by adding a shadow under the ball to make it more obvious where it's touching the ground. A nice prototype, but definitely lots you could add before it's market ready.
Also, thank you all for the feedback and discussion regarding the recordings. I'll be sure to include a question in the next poll to make the final decision, so be sure to check back!