In Development: Shape Match (early Prototype)

Hi all.

This is my first time posting here, with a very simple game I started to build over the holidays.
I'm ashamed to admit how much time it took to even get to the current state, which is only a very early prototype.

But hey, the credo is release early, releas often, right? Maybe I'll even get faster along the way…

So without further ado, here's a screen-capture:


The goal is to redraw a shape that gets shown to you for a few seconds and try to match it as closely as possible. With the DPad you select the desired direction (indicated on the bottom left of the screen) and with the crank you draw a line in the selected direction.

Here's a link to a playable build, feedback is highly welcome.

Next steps should be:

  • Start-Screen
  • Level-Selection
  • Tutorial

this looks fun! i'm getting my playdate in febuary, can't wait to try this out!

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Very cool!

I'm wondering what can be added to make the gameplay deeper.

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You're right, it's a bit dull at is it now. I was thinking about different possible challenges or achievements, such as:

  • reaching at least a certain percentage
  • time-limit
  • complete the level without stopping
  • inertia/friction

Maybe it needs some sort of build-up/progression of gameplay instead of just increasingly complex shapes… I'm open to ideas :sweat_smile:

I get vibes of Qix/Volfied. Which is great!

I'm yet to try your demo. Some thoughts:

Puzzle mode

  • don't show the shape
  • you have to discover it
  • limited ink or directional changes


  • QTE mode that automatically moves and you press the chosen direction so only relies on timing? Might feel more like light cycles.

How are you calculating the similarity percentage?

Some good suggestions, thanks @matt !

The similarity is based on an XOR of both shapes (target and drawn), where I just count all the filled pixels as errors. A perfect match would leave no filled pixels. Then I calculate a percentage of the errors vs. the needed pixels. This can get you some very low percentages, when you fill a large area outside of the target shape… even when that shape matches the target shape somewhat.

It's far from perfect, but comparing fills just seemed so much easier than dealing with shape matching, winding, overlaps etc.

Btw.: Thanks for reminding me of Qix… I liked that game. Do you know of a Qix clone on Playdate?

There's a Jezzball clone but no Qix clone so far!

Volfied (Ultimate Qix or Qix Neo on some platforms) is IMHO the better game because of the involvement and game design of Fukio "MTJ" Mitsuji, creator of Bubble Bobble. But Qix is the purest representation of the concept.

You may find this interesting

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Yeah, Qix by Taito. Love it!

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You could ask people to draw the shape rotated 90 degrees, or mirrored vertically / horizontally etc.

I really like Matt's idea of somehow having to discover the shape. You could have a range of abstract shapes on the screen and then cut the shape people need to make out of them, so the player has to extrapolate the shape from the bits cut out of the other shapes.

This was fun! My 6 yr old daughter also enjoyed it, and I like that it tests her memory.

I know its an early prototype but as far as feedback goes here's some notes I had:

  • It would be cool if you could crank one direction to draw and crank in the other direction to either remove some of the "ink" or marking you just put down or at the very least go in the opposite direction for when you overshoot.

  • Consider having undos? Even if it undoes the entire drawn section

    • The first time I had tried a level, i way over cranked and it shot further than i had intended.
  • Diagonals moves were tricky, especially for my daughter.

  • Having some way to give up the level.

    • I came back to the playdate after dinner and was on a blank screen with just the diamond/cursor. Having no idea what shape it was since I wasn't the last one to play it. I just had to wing it lol and simply close the shape.
    • Maybe you can tie into the playdate.deviceDidUnlock() hook to hide the user's current drawing and show the original for a bit, then after a delay you show the user's drawing again? Though maybe this could be used to cheat idk.
  • the drawing is really smooth. I found myself just mashing different directions while cranking to make little doodles.

Looking forward to see how this develops over time!

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