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This is a list of possible improvements for the Haddock Proposal. This list has been compiled from the discussion thread in the Game's Design forum, as well as the thread in the GCPP forum.

The goal of this list is to help people wanting to help designing the puzzle to find out if their proposal was already made, or is already being considered. It also shall give an idea of how the puzzle could be further developped.


Improvements that were implemented

Different patterns

(Nemo) using more intuitive pattern recognition. Give us consistent, intuitive pattern goals, and even better, make them scale. For instance, make any checkered pattern score. Then you can know exactly what you're doing generally and try for larger scores including 3xN clears, where you shift up the middle column to complete the pattern.

(jenjo921) Perhaps you could score on all solid, checkered or striped N*N squares?

(Tirix) the Herringbone is much too complicated to be done in the puzzle, I have put it in mainly for completion and fun. Maybe I'll remove it.

This is the way I went with the plain, twill, fishbone, etc. patterns.

Tutorials, helps

(dartraider) I think the real problem of this game is the lack of tutorial and tips. I would like to write what I know (With pictures). :) Thanks for doing that !

Fixed number of threads to place

(Tirix) Give a fixed number of threads to place. The board will fill up anyway, the goal being to avoid that it fills up completely before the end.. The score would then be given depending on the number of patterns matched.

This is the choice that was made.

Color changing

(Soede) The thread colours used could change from game to game to keep it visually interesting.

I might have to remove it in the final version.

Improvements I'd like to see in the puzzle

Better player feedback

(Synful) That spool is sort of representative of a timer? Sort of like the flag pole is for shipwritery? I think it would be easier to understand when yer game is nearing to an end by something that goes up rather than down?

Better graphics

(Tirix) improve the graphics, drawing threads that really cross each other, instead of blurring into the void, but I did not come up with something correct yet (I'm not a wonderful graphical expert)

(Soede) Better graphics, showing threads going up and down and blending with the background threads. The interweaving on the left is a possible idea for clearable blocks.

I also wanted to go in the same direction, providing a better visualization of thread crossings. This is a bit trickier to program, because the "sprites" are not single-layered anymore, but I have already been preparing it. One problem with visually linking contiguous threads is that the player might think that they form a single one. But in fact, they still don't, and it's possible that you push one while the other stays in place (this could happen to your blue threads on the left of your picture)

Different incoming threads

(drc500free) incoming threads to be multiple colors? This has somewhat the feel of sailing with all monochrome pieces.

(Tirix) I also changed the generation of threads to be placed, so that smaller ones might also come. This makes the puzzle a lot easier, and shall help to reach a better game balance...

Simpler option system, variability

(Synful) Too many options could be not such a great thing at one time. How about keeping say three options, when one option is filled, a new one is replaced on the bottom of the other two and continues like that? As your skill raises, add more options, etc.

(Synful) My biggest question is if this is brought into game, will it be progressive, like shipwritery is? The reason why I ask is because I can do it starting off with 2 pieces to match, but then it doesn't go anywhere from there. Also, that spool is sort of representative of a timer? Sort of like the flag pole is for shipwritery? I think it would be easier to understand when yer game is nearing to an end by something that goes up rather than down?

(dartraider) Try to think scenarios for each grade. Like you start bilging with 3 colors- which is very easy.

Alas, the ToyBox Libray options concept does not allow for such cascaded options in the configuration panel, before you start the puzzle (or I have missed something). At the end, there shall be at most 2 options : skill level and experience level.

Special pieces

(dartraider) think of advanced pieces- like the gold piece in shipwright, the spicy piece in distilling and the special glassworks in Alchemy. I'm noticing that the game starts getting a bit linear (actually for me only in the beginning, but still, special pieces are fun :P) )when you got the hang of it, and 4 colors make certain big patterns close to impossible.

(dartraider) I have thought about "perls" that could go into the board too, and would not be included in any pattern (or only in special ones...) They could also serve as "jokers", or they could go in different colors and be score multipliers...

Take out the time limit

(Karakan) I'd take out the timelimit - it's hard enough as it is, and you already have the physical restriction of being able to place only so many threads on the board (unlike shipwrightery or distilling, where the only possible limiting factor is time). That's two possible ways of loosing it, making it even harder than it is.

Maybe I should restore the time limit, but giving a lot of time (like 45 seconds)

Eliminate junk

(Karacan) Allow the player to push of threads out of the pattern, which would make the puzzle too easy, me thinks

(Tirix) A matched pattern could make the whole rows disappear instead of just the pattern, or maybe more blocks around it...

(Tirix) for each matched pattern, the whole board scrolls up, letting the top row disappear.

(Grevan) to push threads off of the top... kind of like making an error in your looming... but then again, this could make it a bit to easy in the long run.

(Soede) Might I propose an optional player initiated clear?

It seems this could make the puzzle too easy, and possibly break the strategies of experiences players to create big patterns. Maybe this will become less a problem now that NxM patterns are possible. Anyway, I consider leaving trash on the board a part of the game. The goal is to place all your threads before the board is completely filled... Another option I thought about to solve this is to have the whole board slowly, continuously scrolling up. This ought to be simple to implement (thanks to the great library capabilities :P ).

Forcast two moves

(jondigger20) forecast two moves ahead instead of just one?

Good idea ! Why not ?

Improvements that I would not like to include

Push from other sides

(TheCosmicChz) What if you could thread from either the top or the bottom? Of if we want to get realy fancy, let us thread from all four sides . .. oooOoo =)

I think it would make the puzzle more confuse and less intuitive. The puzzle mechanics may already be difficult to grasp at first.

Match blocks of the same colors

(Grevan) matching up certain numbers of colors in a row and making them dissapear. Kind of like the navigation puzzle... making them dissapear doesn't really count, but it helps to sort out the peices... and if you can't get them to match up... then ya booched it.

Different matching system

(Tirix) add "empty" as a color, not implemented yet.

(Soede) Instead of automatically clearing a pattern, the pattern could highlight in some way, like the apoth tubes turning the colour of the potion. This would show that you've created a viable patterns but give you the option of improving it or potentially destroying it before it clears. (Or maybe it should form a solid block that can be added on, like Sword Fighting) Either way It should clear on it's own eventually. (I realize this changes the dynamic of being careful to not actually click the pattern into place until the last moment in order to get a big clear. You can decide if that's a good or bad thing.)

(Soede) In your instructions you talk about warp and weft but then in the actual game this becomes confusing. The background grey threads look like they are the warp but they aren't. It's just a background. The actual warp and weft are composed of the threads the player adds to the board.In order to show this better I think you should rotate the image of one of the colours so the twist is going up and down and make them actually look as though they are passing over other threads. This would allow threads that pass over 2 threads to link and look realistic. (This is called the 'float'). I think it would help if the background was a pale version of whichever colour you choose for the warp.This will help people visualize the patterns and make it more intuitive, even if the player has never woven anything in real life.

(Soede) If you want to add even more realism, if the float gets too long (ie. Passes over too many other threads) the section could fall off. In real life long floats produce more satiny fabrics but if they get too long the weave loses cohesion. This would help clear the board and potentially make it possible for the spool of thread timer to last longer. Another way to potentially de-junk the board is for the oldest row of weaving to be actually pushed off the board and out of gameplay.

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