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Archive for February, 2012

I thought I’d post a few screenshots to show how the level selection map screen and difficulty modes work.

By tapping on the button at the top right of the screen, you can cycle through the ‘Easy’, ‘Medium’ and ‘Hard’ modes. This causes the numbered level selection buttons to display the current progress for the chosen difficulty mode.
 

Easy Mode

So, in the image above, easy mode progress is being shown and all levels up to and including level 5 have been unlocked. Finishing a level on easy rewards the player with one star.

 

Medium Mode

In this image, levels 1 through 4 have been unlocked in medium mode. Here, finishing the level rewards two stars.

 

Hard Mode

And in this image, levels 1 through 3 have been unlocked in hard mode. Here, finishing the level rewards three stars.

 

When you select a level, the numbered level button grows to show more info:

 

And when you’ve aced the level, i.e. earned all three stars and retrieved the egg, the level button turns into a solid gold egg:

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Having playtested some more and taking into account that the vast majority of players are likely to be casual gamers, I’ve decided to have three levels of difficulty instead of two, promoting what I previously called ‘normal’ difficulty to ‘hard’.

Easy: Plenty of time to spare when following the ‘correct’ trails, but scoring limited to 1 star
Medium: Just enough time to follow the ‘correct’ trails plus a little leeway, but scoring limited to 2 stars
Hard: Not enough time to follow the ‘correct’ trails, so shortcuts will be necessary, but all 3 stars achievable

This way, young children can play on ‘easy’, casual gamers can play on ‘medium’, hard core gamers can play on ‘hard’… and hopefully everyone is happy… lol

Incidentally, by ‘correct’ trails, I mean that if the member of Team Quarry that you’re following has been crafty and has doubled back and produced more than one trail, effectively giving you a choice of trail to follow, the latest of those trails is deemed to be the ‘correct’ one. Following the earlier trail in ‘medium’ mode, then, will effectively waste some time and may well be enough to allow the quarry to escape.

As for high scores, there only needs to be one set of high score tables for all three difficulty modes, since completing a level as fast as possible in ‘easy’ mode, for instance, is guaranteed not to score higher than completing it as fast as possible in ‘medium’ (or ‘hard’) modes.

The scoring itself, by the way, is based on how much time you have left on the clock once you catch the quarry, multiplied by a weighting factor, such that the harder the mode, the more points you earn for each second remaining. So, by shaving off even a fraction of a second from your best time you can improve your score and potentially move up the rankings.

As an example, if you usually play on ‘medium’ mode and you’ve done an almost perfect run on level 17 and got 807 points, you might like to try the same level on ‘hard’ mode and try to get a higher score. You’ll have less time to start with, so you’ll need to find some shortcuts to claw back some of that time, but each second you do save will be worth more than in ‘medium’ mode. So, even if you don’t ace it (with a score of over 1000 points), you still might do pretty well and get a higher score, say, 875 points.

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