Yesterday, I made a bot to efficiently solve puzzles as quick as possible and to determine if generated puzzles were solvable. This was fun and having it compete against the arcade mode resulted in the realization that it has to get up to a puzzle of 400+ tiles long before it starts to lose. The arcade mode gives the player 10 seconds for every puzzle completed. As the puzzles go from 20 tiles long to even longer, the time given goes up to 20, then 30 and all the way up to 60 seconds. The maximum is 60 seconds, otherwise the player would be there all day. Well… the bot was there all day, working its way up from 20 tile puzzles to 400+ tile puzzles. In time, it had accumulated 45+ minutes of extra time at 75 puzzles in.
While a human could probably never be that fast and efficient, it lead me to think that the infinite arcade mode might need to have a limit of 50 puzzles. At the end, your time remaining becomes your score. Then you try to beat that score. The catch is, I have only gotten to 38 puzzles in arcade mode. For each failed puzzle, the mode takes off an extra 10 seconds. So 10 becomes 20, becomes 30, into 40 seconds lost and so on.
After some fantastic feedback from someone that looks like McGyver, I have updated PABAPU once again.
– Added screen transitions that push up the current screen to the next.
– Added a total time statement to the coffee mode ending screen.
– Modified buttons to show keys or controls that will trigger them.
– Modified game over screen to show more buttons with icons and less text.
– Added some different visuals to the game over.
– Modified the time display to include a decimal for the time.
– Modified the buttons of the puzzle menu to be larger, and show the numbers rather than the current screen’s number with the 15 puzzles on that screen.
– Modified stars to drop particle effects in the puzzle menu.
– Fixed the return to title screen at the game over to go to the title screen rather than to the pause menu.
– Removed a bunch of the text including “press R to restart puzzle” since most text has been replaced with buttons and or keys and controller buttons to inform the player.
While I’m here, I may as well talk about the new screen transitions. I’ve never been a fan of transitions as it prolongs the game, even by a split second. It was tough finding a transition that I didn’t immediately hate for PABAPU. At first there were a lot of frills with horizontal moving menus, but in time I chose a vertical sliding transition to get it out of the way as quick as possible. Like a curtain raising.