Make The Number Bigger

2009, October 21st 12:10 AM

It's that time again! For those who were hoping I wouldn't go back to sidescrollers, you shall be happy. For those who were hoping I'd stay away from RTSes, you shall also be happy!

Download installer here
(optional zipped version)

This game was fated to be. I came up with the idea, almost identical to what you see here, a few days before the new official Experimental Game Project theme was announced. What was the theme?


Numbers it is.

Let me know what you think. Postmortem will be incoming, once I have some idea whether it was successful or not :D

  • Colin Low

    2009, October 21st 2:13 AM

    My general strategy: Rapid-click frontmost digit. Click grenade when it appears, laser when it glows. Click bullets that approach first/second digit; ignore the others.

    I'm not too sure what the running man does. I think he divides the number by ten if he runs into it head-on, but I'm not sure what happens when he jumps into it. I tried to click on him before he hit the number, but I didn't bother to see what happened further.

  • Sarainy

    2009, October 21st 7:38 PM

    I found clicking the train 'bullet's quite difficult, almost as if the hitbox wasn't quite the same size/shape as the bullets themselves?

    Other than that, this is a really unique and interesting game.

    My only issue is that it spend me 5 minutes or so to realise I could click on higher up numbers too, not just the 'units' column :|

  • Zorba

    2009, October 21st 8:46 PM

    Colin, that's a reasonable strategy for the beginning. It gets harder as it goes on, of course. :)

    The train puff hitboxes are very small. Conveniently, you pretty much don't have to click them at all – they can largely be ignored. I have to admit I'm kind of confused as to how it took that long to figure out clicking other digits, though, as the little tutorial helper actually tells you to click the larger digit and the suggestion doesn't go away until you do. (Unless I botched the code on that.) Any comments on what happened? Can you replay the beginning part to figure out what happened?

  • gramcracker

    2009, October 21st 10:06 PM

    Argh, frustration. Either I haven't found a good strategy or I'm just not good at this sort of game. Done in by the football guy again. It seems hard to recover after just one mistake; two in a row is certain failure.

    A way to skip the intro sequence after you've gone through it once would be nice. It's the honking that gets to me :)

  • Zorba

    2009, October 21st 11:38 PM

    It's definitely difficult to recover from mistakes. Later on it's possible to make a mistake that literally prevents recovery entirely. Balance on something like this is always a problem, and honestly, that exact issue is probably going to be the main feature of my postmortem, as I spent a lot of time trying to make it work well and believe that I've managed to prove that it's impossible to do.

    The intro doesn't keep you from doing anything, so you can just keep making the number bigger while she talks. She is going to end up honking a bit though ;)

  • Your Mom

    2009, October 22nd 7:57 AM

    See? I'm not the only one that wanted to skip the intro. After you told me that there wasn't an unskippable intro, I realized I could start clicking immediately, that improved things somewhat. I can live with the honking (which I actually found pretty amusing the first time – but only the first time). I figured out the same strategy as Colin Low after the first play. Unfortunately, I seem to be having some issues with mouse lag under Wine, so maybe it's time to try it under Windows.

  • WolfKrad

    2009, October 22nd 2:01 PM

    Too difficult.

    I mean, when you only have about 2 million when the time runs out but the game tells you you've reached 5 billion, you feel like there's hardly any hope of reaching that quadrillion. Mainly as it didn't seem to get any easier as the number dropped again (on the contrary, the game didn't seem to let up and due to the mistakes made, you couldn't recover properly).

    All in all I'd say that not being able to come even close to reaching that ultimate goal was the frustrating part. I think it would've been more fun if you hadn't communicated that goal, as you'd then make a goal out of beating your own or other's scores.

    By telling me that I should try to reach a quadrillion, reaching 5 billion felt like I failed horribly. In the next game, I reached 4 billion and felt like I failed even more and gave up. I probably should've felt like I'd almost beaten my old record and should thus try again. But I didn't feel that. So I stopped playing.

    Cool concept though. I was definately more excited to play this than any other game this experiment of yours has produced so far.

    Oh, and one other thing: it would've been nice if the different threats were introduced seperately. That way you could safely analyse one threat at a time, without having to click frantically at the other threats already on the screen. You could then of course start combining them to increase the pressure for the player.

    BTW, I did notice on the second go that there wasn't any intro to skip. So no problems there ;)

  • gramcracker

    2009, October 22nd 4:20 PM

    I agree that not having anything acknowledged between "win" and "lose" is the most frustrating part for me. I might keep trying if there were a high score list, or even just different levels of "winning" achieve, but just being told (again) that I've lost is pretty discouraging. As cliched as it is at this point, maybe some sort of 'achievement' system would help.

    Nice concept, though. Too difficult/frustrating for me to want to keep playing after 6 or 7 attempts, but I enjoyed it a lot, until I didn't :P

  • Zorba

    2009, October 22nd 9:05 PM

    I had some trouble figuring out the ending screen. I was hoping the different "your number is this big" messages would act as an incentive. Early on I had a slightly nicer screen that said "finished" or something like that, but people assumed this meant they won, which was definitely not what I was going for.

    Achievements are actually a good idea. I may have to play with that in the future – it oughta be part of my next-gen game framework.

    As mentioned, the difficulty and length of the game turned out to be the big problem with game design :)

  • Your Mom

    2009, October 23rd 9:05 PM

    I found the messages motivating – I enjoyed them. But mostly I was motivated by getting further and further the more I played. I would have liked a cumulative high score board at the end. I'm still playing it and still getting better. I also liked that I could tailor the strategy to me – it works to ignore the train – if I don't, I end up trying to track too many things. I'll probably never "win" the game, but I like having a quick challenge that I can try over and over. Best game yet.

  • Claustro

    2009, October 26th 10:19 AM

    This is awesome, I picked it up via ur QH changelog, and I havent stopped playing it but to post this comment, so stipidly addictive!!!

  • Player of Game

    2009, October 27th 2:50 AM

    The only thing I found to be a problem, that didn't have to do with me, is that the train smoke doesn't roll the number next to it to a 9, if the very first number is a 1. So if I had a number like 1000009309 and smoke hit that first number I would be down to 9309 instead of 999999309 there is no way to come back from that with everything else that is going on in the screen. I didn't try this at 1 billion since there is too much going on in the screens to get an even number like 1 billion and 1, but I was noticing that sometimes I would lose 2 spots if only smoke hit a number, which I couldn't get to if I was clicking a grenade, a laser, or the football player. But I did try this with 100000. Once the smoke hit the 1 I was left with 0.

    So if there were a way to make it so you didn't lose a good portion/all of your number from smoke alone the game wouldn't be as difficult as it is. I was able to get to about 11 billion after playing for a while.

  • Anonymous

    2009, October 29th 1:03 AM

    I first played this on a 1024×768, so the stuff on the bottom gets clipped off due to the client area plus the window borders. On a 1280×1024 desktop, the game displays fine, but it still led me to cheating by writing a script that autoclicks when I hold down the button while mousing in the client area. Because the game is windowed and targets like the lasers appear at the edges, if I overshoot, I become prone to wildly clicking things just outside the borders of the game, or clicking the menu frame and dragging it all over the desktop and ruining my game. A full screen option would have been nice to address lower resolutions (1024×768 is "small", heh) and people overshooting the game client area.

    Otherwise, it's a fun game. Not cheating, I got to around 5 trillion, but that clicking thing drove me nuts when everything is flying on-screen from all four sides. I also got the "click on the higher numbers" concept immediately and just ignored the tutorial by the 2nd round, but maybe that's just me and my "click everything" mentality.

  • vazor

    2010, January 20th 7:54 PM

    Great concept and fun execution, but the amount I had to redo at the beginning of every failure was very tedious. The "your number is approximately" thing was nice and helped a little, but with the problems mentioned above and my unwillingness to go through the first 100 clicks again stopped me from trying harder to beat it. You could consider maybe a save point or something in the future. Still, one of the better submissions for the Numbers theme.

  • anazopyreo

    2010, January 22nd 8:01 AM

    Personally, I didn't mind restarting, it made a good warm up. However it was annoying listening to the honking noises every time.

  • yabbaguy

    2010, May 28th 2:25 PM

    I think the game is slightly bugged, as I won with 97 trillion. The game declares victory the instant the tank (firing the whopping 4-digit range bullets) gets a hit on the decimal places.

    Took me ages to figure out how to deflect the tank's bombshells, but finally got it.

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