All This Random Junk

All This Random Junk

  • Jaspo
  • 4 months ago
  • 45th

Description

You've been abducted, or something. And now you're somewhere, and have to escape.

Wherever you are, there seems to be a lot of junk laying around. Maybe it could be useful somehow?

This is a DIFFICULT puzzle game. Be forewarned, you'll not be happily speeding through these levels...at least not on your first attempt.

Note on controls: pick junk up with spacebar, but place it back down again with the key matching its slot; the bottom row of letters on the keyboard. Spacebar also opens doors. Other controls: R to restart and Esc to exit, spacebar to skip intros & any key to end the ending before the end.

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  • Jupiter Hadley
    Jupiter Hadley Jupiter Hadley Level 11

    Challenging game. I included it in my GM48: Collect! compilation video series, if you’d like to take a look. :) https://youtu.be/rCsnYYXDjwo

  • baku
    baku baku Level 40 Patron

    This game, while confusing, kinda rules!!

    I haven't beaten the game yet, I've made it 4 or so levels in, but I fully intend to complete it at a later point. So far I've been mostly trial-and-error combining items to get the one needed to move on, but there's clearly some underlying logic in place that I don't understand yet. Just looking at the sheer length of Fachewa's feedback (I haven't read it, promise!) makes me want to dive deep on this, and figure out it secrets by myself. I love these kinda weird puzzles.

    • Jaspo Jaspo
      Level 4
      Developer

      In hindsight there's a few simple things I could've done to make it more enjoyable and less trial-and-error, but I'm glad you're enjoying it anyway. Things to force players to discover the logic rather than being able to painstakingly try every possible combination instead, which up to a point is what Fachewa did.

  • Swisspick
    Swisspick Swisspick Level 7

    Well, i didn't get it :D But it was fun trying!

  • TobyMoby
    TobyMoby TobyMoby Level 15

    I couldn't figure the first room out. I wasn't always great at hard logic puzzles, but I think there is a much deeper problem here. It's that I don't even know HOW the puzzle is solved, and I don't mean the solution. I mean: do I have to hold specific items? Do they have to be in a certain order? Do I need to drop them somewhere in a certain order? Do I have to drop them on the wall? on the door?

    I think this is really the underlying problem. If I had any indicator if what I'm trying to do is even remotely the thing I'm supposed to do, I would be more eager to experiment and crack the code through trial and error. But testing out every possible type of solution every puzzle in every game has ever told me...I don't have the breath for this.

    So I think the problem a lot of people are having is not, that the puzzles are too hard, I think it's a game design problem.

    Good game design should teach you the mechanics of the game step by step, so you know your tools and the "language" of the game, and then you can try and use these to progress. This is true in any game, puzzle games, platformers, FPS etc.

    I know this can be a lot of work and barely manageable in the 48h time frame to come up with levels each teaching you a tiny bit of the gameplay mechanics.

    Another thing to note: different keyboard layouts exist throughout the world, so for me in germany, where the Z and the Y key are switched (QWERTZ layout) this was quite an inconveniance.

    On the other hand, I like the art and the music and I think the overall idea of the game is cool and quite unique.

    (Quick note: since english is not my first language, I hope this critique is read as constructive as I have intended, and not as me bashing the game or anything.)

    • Jaspo Jaspo
      Level 4
      Developer

      After actually watching someone try to play it I see that what you say is true. I also found out that there's a complicating factor of items being hidden behind the door and wall sign if dropped there, adding to confusion. At any rate there needed to be at least one room before the first room with very few options to choose from, where players could stumble upon the underlying mechanic of the game relatively easily so they could work out the rest from there. I thought I had put in relatively few options in the first room particularly since two different combinations would work, but I had underestimated people's compulsion to collect absolutely everything collectible. Actually two rooms would've been even better, since the very first room should've just been a "pick the matching object up and open the door with it" tutorial, as others have already stated. Er, "pick UP the matching object". Ah, the Midwest US accent. 3 generations after immigration and there's still that German influence on sentence structure. 100 years later and we're still ending prepositional phrases with the preposition. "Oh, ja. Pick that object up and bring it with."

      Sorry about the keyboard thing. I wondered if that would be an issue.

  • Fachewachewa

    Edit : (made the image just a link, sorry) I did try to get the symbols on the wall again, even shared with friends to try and crack the code, I can get values for the 4 or 5 first rooms, but after that I can't get anything to work.

    Edit 2 : Ok, thought about it again and I beat it, but yeah this was wayyy too much. You still have to know and recognize a lot of the different items, not all but still the last two rooms can be pretty rough when you search for the right item. And you're basically asking people to find out what a code means without even knowing if there's really a code. I still think there's a huge problem of easing the player into your game.

    I'm sorry but this doesn't make sense. I opened the first door by accident after a while of random pickups / drops, then got stuck on the second room. Restarted the game to try and figure out if there was any logic, even tried to reverse engineer the 2nd room solution with the object of the first one, but that didn't help.

    Being random doesn't make a puzzle hard, it makes it random. Here the objects only seem to loop between different forms, I'm guessing they represent numbers or whatever, but if there's no way to understand their relations to each other, you can't infer a solution, and it's not a puzzle.

    Maybe I'm missing something, but that's where your job as a designer is important, when we succeed it should be because we understood something, or it should at least give us an answer. Here you can switch the 1st and 2nd room and it wouldn't change anything because the player doesn't have more information after opening the 1st one.

    Also, the gameplay doesn't encourages experimentation: You need to physically move from one object to another, and press the right key to drop it, with a layout that's absolutely not instinctive. Worse, sometimes you pick up more items that what you wanted, so you always have to drop them far enough from each other. There's really no reason people should struggle with the controls when the puzzles are what's supposed to be hard.

    There's also no reason for bigger rooms like the 2nd one, it doesn't make it more difficult or interesting, just a chore to get all the items at the top, to have a clear view of what you're working with.

    So... sorry to be this harsh, but I'm trying to explain why people aren't understanding your game and missing completely the point. Maybe there's something to understand, but it's really not clear what, and I definitely tried.

    TL;DR :

    • manipulating objects should be trivial, make it drag and drop with the mouse or as simple as that
    • you should teach the rules step by step, with each puzzle teaching a key element (like, in your case, the first room should just be "open the door while holding the right single object", if you think this is too simple, you need to have your game playtested)
    • bruteforcing isn't puzzle-solving, maybe it is to you because you know the order of your objects, but we do not

    Oh and the game was either fullscreen (so too big because my resolution is 1440p) or 1:1, so completely unplayable.


    Okay so after writing this I said to myself that I should prove that I understood what you were trying to do, so here you go : https://i.imgur.com/A4InBTo.jpg

    I was right with my assumption that they were numbers and deduced up to 26 in the first room, 39 in the second, then did a little more and realized there were way more than I though so I kinda stopped. All I needed were the equations on the left of my notes.

    I played until the room where you need 62 I think (the tank looking object) to open the door.

    What this showed me is that you indeed complicated the rooms by having bigger space and different spots for the door and the requirement. This doesn't make the puzzles harder or more interesting.

    There also a few rooms where most of the objects you give are of higher value, this indicates to me that people should know the value of the objects at that point, but they could have gotten here by chance and they'd be pretty much stuck here. There's also no way to go back so if you want to learn, you have to start over the game.

    Once I got to the 62 room, I didn't know half the stuff on the ground, and had no idea what number the tank represented. Previous rooms were trivial because I knew the numbers, but here I had to deduce 50%+ of what I already knew (and could have been more since I didn't know it was 62). This is just absurd. So I went back to bruteforcing and gave up in the next room.

    Now, maybe the symbols near the door actually help with the numbers, but I have absolutely no idea where I should I started to decipher those.

    For example, keeping your whole system and the lack of informations, this is how I would have designed the first rooms :

    • 1 : could be like your first room, but solvable by simply holding the right item
    • 2 : give only 1's, and have the solution be something like 3 or 4. Having multiple of the same item would show player how they change by increment, until they find the right one
    • 3 : something like your first room, with one 1, two 2, a 3, a 5, and the solution being 4
    • 4 : same room, but the solution is like 7 or 8
    • at that point you can start slowly building up, but I think it should never go above 25 or something like that, that's already a lot, there's a reason our numbers are in base 10 and not in base 80.

    While experimenting in the later rooms tho I did find a bug, if you go over your limit, there's no symbol, I guess that part is fine, but if you start dropping items, you then get smaller total (like around 10), even if your real total is way higher that that. At first I thought the value looped after getting to the max or something.

    Honestly, I find the idea interesting, and I always wanted to do something like that, but the main idea when you're doing symbols is to find a way to give the player feedback. Here if I didn't make the assumption that they were numbers, which the game never tried to show me, I would never have figured it out. And for numbers you really need a way to show that it's cyclical, things repeat, add to each other, etc. In your game, there's just 70+ symbols with arbitrary value.

    That said, I'm guessing the real numbers are on the wall, but since you can't go back and the symbols are VERY complicated, I really don't know how we're supposed to decipher them.

    • Jaspo Jaspo
      Level 4
      Developer

      Thanks for the feedback, and for getting into the game at the level I hoped at least one person would (though these gm48 devs tend toward quick & casual so I didn't know if anyone actually would or not)...hoping the feedback was private though since this is complete spoilers for half of the game's mechanics. Keep in mind this is a 48 hour game jam game. I simply decided to go with the first coherent and seemingly interesting idea I had. Can't really change your mind once you start, and either it'll turn out good bad or somewhere in between.

      As for this: "That said, I'm guessing the real numbers are on the wall, but since you can't go back and the symbols are VERY complicated, I really don't know how we're supposed to decipher them." If you're to that point with it already it shouldn't be that hard actually. Simply jot them down, compare them using the values you know they represent and you should be able to crack it, logically. That's why I had higher value rooms toward the end. The value can be determined by the sign symbols rather than trial and error, & there should be enough info for sure by the end of room 4 or so to make that happen.

      Since you did do everything by trial and error instead I understand your frustration. Good job on figuring that part out though.

      As for this: "While experimenting in the later rooms tho I did find a bug, if you go over your limit, there's no symbol, I guess that part is fine, but if you start dropping items, you then get smaller total (like around 10), even if your real total is way higher that that. At first I thought the value looped after getting to the max or something." It shouldn't be giving incorrect values; it's simply adding the array contents of the 7 boxes. I'd have to look at the code again, though I've never noticed it do that myself. Empty is simply because there's no junk with values that high.

      I had the idea for being able to go back to previous rooms but at that point I wasn't comfortable with being able to incorporate it in the time remaining. I was also undecided about adding an easy intro level like you suggested, but ultimately decided against it since I didn't want to give away what was going on quite that easily. Sure, it would've made the casual gamers happier, but I wasn't necessarily going for that. I did add one more somewhat easier room toward the start, either room 3 or 4, to provide more potential information to the player before introducing more confusion.

  • MintyPython
    MintyPython MintyPython Level 7

    The ambience and the music are nice, but I don't think I'm sold on the gameplay.

    I'm not really sure that this could be considered a logic game, since there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to what combinations create what item. Either you already know the answer beforehand or you randomly try combinations until you get the right one, there's no way to logically determine the answer based on any information.

    • Jaspo Jaspo
      Level 4
      Developer

      Well, that's not exactly accurate. Titles can mislead, you know.

  • FlashPulse
    FlashPulse FlashPulse Level 5

    Sorry, I couldn't figure it out either. Also I had a really hard time seeing what the items were supposed to be, and I guess that's partly the reason why it's hard. I liked the music though. :)

    • Jaspo Jaspo
      Level 4
      Developer

      Aesthetically, they're junk. Your guess is as good as mine. Though, a few were inspired by something from reality.

  • JacksmackDave

    It's hard to know what button to press when the letter for dropping that slot's item is covered by the item in the slot. I also had issues where I would pick up an item on the floor that looked one way and it would look different in my inventory. I couldn't figure out what to do in the first room, so I made it into a room cleaning simulator.

    The big gray thing is a trash chute, so I just put everything in there. :D

    • Jaspo Jaspo
      Level 4
      Developer

      Stuff you pick up will go into the first open slot, left to right. I've never seen it work incorrectly. And the keys are simply the bottom row of letters on the keyboard, in order. I could've gone with numbers 1-7 but the letters were closer to the space bar and seemed more convenient.

      No, this game wasn't designed to be a room cleaning simulator. However if that's all you care to get out of it and it makes you happy, all the power to you :) Just realize there's deeper things at work here, waiting to be discerned.

Post-mortem

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