A Good Hunch!


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JohnBA Good HunchA charming platformer with a healthy dose of puzzle elements, A Good Hunch! by Philipp Seifried and Markus Mundjar is an entry into our third Game Design Competition. Each level puts you in control of Harvey and Tina, two brightly colored goats who are trying to reach the exits in each stage. You only control one character at a time, but after the first goat reaches an exit, his or her movements are repeated as you move the other character through the level. Hopping on the back of your friend lets you bounce higher than your normal jump, opening up a wide range of gameplay possibilities that Philipp and Markus explore with (adorable) artistic style.

Using the spacebar to jump and the arrow keys to move, your first goal in each stage is to take one of the goats to an exit. As you hop across platforms and explore the layout, take note of key points that seem inaccessible at first glance. To traverse these puzzles, you'll need to take advantage of the repeat function of the game. For example, if an exit is just out of reach, maneuver the goat below and stand there for a few seconds before finishing your first run. Then, when you take control of the second goat, the first goat's actions will be replayed and you can hop on the character's back to get a boost to the top of the platform. Timing the moves can be tricky and often requires several attempts before you get it right. A Good Hunch! lets you undo a turn and switch goats with a simple click of the mouse, so frustration is usually kept to a minimum.

Analysis: Although it's extraordinarily cute and illustrates a creative use of our "replay" theme, A Good Hunch! isn't without a few minor flaws. Both the physics and the hit detection feel a little spongy, creating some frustrating moments trying to land on platforms just right. This is exacerbated when timing is an important issue — one slip-up and your whole scheme could be ruined. Sound effects are noticeably missing, but given the time constraints of our competition, we'll let that one slide.

The levels and puzzles never get too complex in A Good Hunch!, and fast reflexes and lucky timing are usually emphasized over brain power. The cartoonish art style definitely adds to the game's appeal, and that piano background music fits the atmosphere perfectly.

Overall, A Good Hunch! is a well-designed game with a superb presentation, solid gameplay and an engaging concept. Cheers to Philipp and Markus for the entry!

Play A Good Hunch

Update: Just released! Play the Gold Version

zxozxo - A Good Hunch is one of those charming casual games that just makes you smile, which helps smooth over the frustration you might feel with the physics. Still, it's hard to fault the authors for the physics, considering the short preparation time. The collaborative replay was a great idea, and the level design exploited a full range of solution techniques. I would love to see a sequel with three goats (although I think three's the limit without getting overly complicated)!

JayJay - Although one of several entries with a similar interpretation of the "replay" theme, this particular implementation is creative and done very well. A Good Hunch is a gorgeous game with an appealing charm that pulls you in and doesn't want to let go: it just gets prettier the further you get with it. A new version of the game is in the works that addresses the criticisms with the collision detection and the sound support. Look for an update here soon. Well done Philipp and Markus!

21 Comments

Simply stunning. A very beautiful game. Very well crafted and fun to play. The only issue i have with it is sometimes i find the collision detection between the goats and the platforms a little off. but other than that great game :)

I admit it. I squeed when I saw Philipp's name here. Drifts is one of the prettiest, best-implemented games of its type, and if Hunch is anything like it, it'll be a pleasure to play.

Off to play, now...

So...! Heart...! Warming...! Love for humanity... overwhelming...!

No, seriously, this is very nicely done. I love the little picture balloons that let us know what the goats are thinking. Aaw! He loves her! And the sun made of daisies in the background is fabulous.

I wish that I had to press the space bar every time I wanted to jump. It feels very chaotic to have my goat jump just because I'm still holding the button down. And as usual, I miss having sound effects. A few gentle bleats here and there, at least, would be nice.

But this is a game that tells a heartwarming story of love and friendship, and the theme is woven seamlessly into every aspect of the game. It's not really a "replay" thing so much as a "teamwork" thing, but I still found it absolutely adorable.

I really am liking this game. The colors and music track make it very nice. Perhaps a few more sound effects could enrich it, if suitably non-annoying and whimsical ones could be found/produced.

In terms of gameplay, the "previous you" helping "you you" idea has been seen a lot in this competition, but this is one of the better implementations of it that I have seen. The interface is well done - there is a time limit, but not a particularly pressing one, and if you make a mistake with either animal (a goat, is it? Something about the atmosphere gave me a baby unicorn impression) it is easy to click the arrow to go back and fix it.

I did have a small issue with

the fourth level, where you have to launch yourself off of the green goat's back while in midair to get through that little gap in the rocks to the portal on top.

It took me a good 20 minutes and many attempts to do. I was thinking it might be easier if you could vary your jump height a little more, perhaps based on if you tap the space bar or hold it down hard. I was having an issue with them passing through each other in midair rather then getting the jump I needed.

Of course I went back and played the level again and I did it in about 10 seconds, so maybe I was just unskilled?

At any rate, I like the game. Well implemented. and I will be playing it again later, after I go eat. yum ramen.

It looks so promising! But the zooming in and out as I move around makes me feel seasick after two levels.

good game...

the atmosphere was quite nice.. the one problem i had was it was not exactly clear where the cutoff for each object was for where you could stand and land, so it was a little hard to time and find my jumps

I had to stop when i got to the suicide star level--the one where touching any green star would drop you off into the abyss :P

but maybe, like birdieball, i am just unskilled :)

haha
oh yea, and the fourth level was hard...

I found the physics a little too slippery--the goats could slide right off. Cute graphics and mood.

Let's face it, it's a pretty childish game, choosing goats didn't help it as well.
And as it was noted here already, the physics and collision detection in this game isn't in a satisfactory level.
I'm looking for more mature and professional games here.



[Edit: I see nothing wrong with a game made with children in mind being submitted to this competition. What about "replay" implies or demands a mature rating? Also remember the entrants had only 4 weeks from concept to delivery. There's bound to be a rough edge or two. -Jay]

A really great game (certainly not too childish). I particularly liked the graphical style. The collision detection was occasionally a bit rough, but it was bearable most of the time (although level 4 was made pretty difficult).

Pllllllllllllease people:

We have this all wrong. This game is perfect. It is gentle, loving and caring.

Roi, a child's game, but we should know better as adults. We lose our sense of play and wonder at the world and then we become hard and dark. Why should only gentle and kind things be reserved for children?

Have you ever been on the mountains out west surrounded by goats? This game evokes these same feelings. Great.
I love the graphics and the game play is relaxing and reflective.
My grandson will love it, too.
Wireman

I liked A Good Hunch! partially because I'm a fan of side scrollers (a result, perhaps, of all the hours I burned with my NES).

However, the physics do need a little tweaking. It can be tough to time jumps correctly because the goats seemed to "slide" a bit before taking a jump when on the run.

Also, I found the controls somewhat unresponsive or "mushy" with an annoying lag between hitting the key and goat taking action. I'm willing to give Harvey and Tina the benefit of the doubt there, though, because my PC is a few years old (and my graphics card even older) and might not have the horsepower the game is looking for. Overall, I bet that what I am tagging as weaknesses in the gameplay can be overcome just by practicing more. Especially that jump in L4. =)

Criticism of the game for being "childish" or "a kid's game" is, IMHO, unfounded. One of the reasons I enjoy Japanese games is because they so often feature bright graphics and cute chibi characters - something common in games for all ages there, but which seems to be regarded as "childish" in the West.

I really like the look and feel of this game (and yes, I'll add my two cents to say that it is no way childish). The gameplay is fairly simple and basically comes down to timing Tina's jumps off of Harvey's back, but it is quite entertaining. I got frustrated at the same point as OfficiallyHaphazard (the three green stars in a row), but it was still fairly enjoyable.

The physics and collision detection could definitely use some tweaking, but it is a solid game and a good entry. Kudos.

okay I see everyone disagree with me about the childish feel of the game.
There's no doubt the graphics are very nice and the music is calming and suitable, the fact that there's only a month to get it done hasn't escaped me either, however combined with the control issues the theme just feels less appealing than other entries in the competition.
No offense to Philipp and Markusof course, it's a very good outcome in such a short time.

I think it's cool/funny to see how many submissions of the competition take usage of multiple/ghost-characters, obviously it's something the most game-designers associate with when they brainstorm on the word "replay".

The topic came up in the discussion thread for the competition announcement. I think it's quite possible several people were inspired by that.

lopsidation indeed yeah. Great idea.

I think this game has the most professional look of the competition together with rerun. It's hard to make platformers and especially if they are art-based like this. I think this game works very well, the glitches in hitTesting are very overcomable (<-eng?). If I would tear the game apart into engine, graphics, puzzles and concept, they all would get a big plus.

Yeah, that suicide level with multiple stars took me a while too. It turns out it's the last level so I can forgive it for being pretty challenging

Very well thought of game.....awesome game design and brilliant level design....friend your game has really entertained me

Real cute! There should be more games with goats.

Even though I think it's cute, I don't find it childish. I think I like this game best out of the rest in the competition.

hm... no offense to people who enjoyed this game, but: it has no excuse for being less polished than other games because all entries had the same deadline, and the essential gameplay mechanic (the way you play the level the first time effects how you play it the second time) was better implemented in other games in the competition.

Not a horrible game, but it shouldn't win any prizes here, let's not kid ourselves.

We'd like to say a big "thank you" to all of you giving feedback, both positive and negative! Especially the physics are an excellent point that didn't really come up during playtesting.
We'll be working out some of these rough edges over the next couple of weeks and add some things that we wanted to do but couldn't (sound effects, for instance, but in fact our list is quite lengthy :) ), due to the competition's time constraints.

Cheers and again, thanks!
Philipp & Markus

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