JIGorbit


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JayJIGorbitFrom DDams of France, designer of Liquid Colors from CGDC #1, comes this entry into our 3rd competition and winner of the "most creative use of the JIG logo" prize.

JIGorbit is an action puzzle game that incorporates simple gravitational force as the basis of its gameplay.

The objective is to reunite the scattered limbs of the JIGster logo by propelling the body around the gravitational field created by the JIGster's 'head' while avoiding any vortexes—a vortex looks similar to the swirly head, but it's larger, white and rotating. Collect all the limbs and land safely in the center to advance to the next level.

Competition award winnerControl is with the mouse in this game. Just click and drag on the body, pull back and let go to propel it like a slingshot and send it flying. A small mark will remain on the display indicating your previous attempts, with your most recent attempt being marked in red.

There are 15 levels to this wonderful little game.

Analysis: I was very pleased to learn that designers were incorporating the JIG logo into their games, and I had no idea what to expect. Little did I know that an entire game would be made up using it, which was a very pleasant surprise. The simple graphics and sound effects of JIGorbit suit the game perfectly, and the gameplay concept is virtually universal in appeal. Together these elements combine to create a highly playable and enjoyable casual gameplay experience.

There are a few minor flaws with the game, though, and the issues I experienced with it were echoed in the comments when the game was initially rolled out (included below). Specifically: 1) an uneven progression of level difficulty; 2) the invisible rectangular area that constrains aiming is awkward and causes issues when near the boundaries of the play field; and 3) a couple of levels are so difficult that finding the correct solution is sometimes the difference between a single pixel.

The first of these issues can be addressed by simply rearranging the levels into a different order. The second might be addressed by constraining to a radial shape instead, and by making it slightly visible to the player only as long as the mouse cursor remains inside of it. And to address the pixel hunting problem, the gameplay needs to be more forgiving to get around the precision it requires of the player. Perhaps adding a gravitational 'pull' by the body itself—to attract limbs instead of requiring contact—might be worth trying. Doing so might also disrupt the balance in design of the present levels, making the game much easier than it is at present.

These rough spots, however, are usually addressed when polishing a game for release, a luxury not afforded to the participants of this competition with its extremely short development period of just 4 weeks. Nit-picks aside, the game is an excellent achievement, enjoyable to play, and a pleasure to have as part of an amazing collection of entries.

Yes, I am somewhat biased with respect to JIGorbit since it incorporates a logo that I created myself during my coursework at RIT. That being said, however, I don't think anyone can argue that it is a highly creative use of the JIG logo entered into our recent competition, and therefore deserving of the prize, a Nintendo Wii! Congratulations and thank you, DDams!

dancemonkeydancemonkey - I was unsure of JIGOrbit when I first started, but after a couple of rounds I was hooked. The simple concept is complemented nicely by the clean presentation and spare sound effects. Some of the more difficult levels do tend to get monotonous though, since by its nature it's a game of trial-and-error. I'm also not sure where the Replay theme fits in, other than you have to replay some levels many times before solving them. All in all I found it to be one of the most polished games in this competition, and it clearly made the best use of the site's logo!

Play JIGorbit

51 Comments

I think he just won most creative use of logo award.

Pretty cool.

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Awesome.

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I feel like I'd really like the concept of this game, but the "click and hold away" part of the instructions is too vague for me to easily follow at this hour of the morning.

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Karin M Designs Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 2:18 AM

Cute - original execution of an old idea. Well done.

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Finally completed. It was rather tough towards the later stages, trying to find that "correct" pixel to launch from. Overall, very nicely done.

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Level 7, and the arrows are off the board so I can't get it right to progress, so I'm stopping.

Cute. Dunno about "Replay", but it's a great little game.

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BobJones Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 2:52 AM

I didn't find the "Replay" in this, and I thought the pixel hunting was too hard. It was unique, though.

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DeSangre July 18, 2007 3:21 AM

Quite interesting, but gameplay-wise very limited. Pure pixel-hunting in later stages. Good effort though.

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I like this. It reminds me of the one where you have to get the penguin back to the spaceship...and just as frustrating!!

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catgrin July 18, 2007 4:09 AM

This really is an interesting use of the logo. Spirals do scream "vortex!" The interface is well designed. Unfortunately, I don't see much "replay" value & it seems the pixel placement for a good throw may be a touch too tight - got hung up at level 3.

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Trystera Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 5:07 AM

Not bad, although I found Level 3 harder than most of the subsequent levels (I did make it through to the end.) But I'm not finding the "replay" theme. Sure, there's trial and error, but that's part of every video game....

What I found most frustrating, though, was how the game came down to pixel-hunting, and all the past-shot markers looked the same. Sometimes I would want to just slightly adjust my angle from last time, but I couldn't distinguish my last shot from all the others that were cramped in the same area.

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Originality July 18, 2007 5:58 AM

Wow - such a simple concept, and so nicely done. Got my vote for the original use of the logo.

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I am working on 14 but this will be it for me. (Is there a final level?)
Now, too much repetitive hunting for a single point. But at the beginning, really enjoyable.

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The replay comes in that you can learn from your past mistakes and allows you to replay and take a better shot.
Nice approach on the jig logo btw, but the game itself was too boring for me (more kinds of obstacles or something would have added alot more fun)

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Fernando July 18, 2007 7:03 AM

level 14 help?

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the_corruptor July 18, 2007 7:11 AM

One thing I found more annoying than even the pixel hunting is the square draggable area. It's counter-intuitive and rather annoying. that coupled with the fact that you can't see your cursor while you're dragging makes a not-very fun interface.

also, having to click at the end of a level is totally bizarre, The first time I waited nearly five minutes in the level before I clicked to see if it was still running, and it continued. Some little marker would be really nice.

And like everybody else, the only 'replay' i found in this game is the same trial and error I find in any new game, except a little more so due to the really really high difficulty curve.

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When the JIGman hits the nasty black hole it makes a noise that sounds just like one from Killer7

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SavingArrows July 18, 2007 7:31 AM

I love love love the fact that each launch point is "saved" with a little arrow. It's hard enough trying to find the right pixel on a game like this, but having to remember every previous one is a nightmare.

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Blue_Blazer Author Profile Page July 18, 2007 7:38 AM

I feel kinda stupid and pathetic, but I can't get level 2!!! Then again, I may just need some coffee

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Like others, I'm not sure how the replay theme fits into this entry. But it is a clever use of the logo and well done. The ability to click anywhere to abort a failed shot? Love it. Especially in the later stages when you're making a lot of failed shots.

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am i the only one that sees the replay? it the fact that you can try again and again and again without loseing lives! you can even click in the middle of a throw to replay!

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Yo - I think the replay theme is included, because you have to fine tune your throw using the markers. So every throw is a "replay" until you get it right.

Cool game.

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man, level 14 was a hard - 15 was really easy though... the difficulty curve was a bit up and down but the physics are really good!

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Woo, like this, up to level 14 so far. But as people are saying its a bit of a pixel hunt towards the end, very unforgiving...

Also a bit similar to the penguins in space game.

I enjoy the replay of each level, trying to achieve the right shot, but it would be handy to have added a colouring to the arrows to represent the most recent shot as it gets very confiused with hundreds of arrows in one spot.

:)

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Blue_blazer--you are not alone, i am feeling like a complete fool...
I love the way the marker arrow twings though when you let go....

ah wait, just got it, I put it in the upper right corner of the level.

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14.....HELP!! Love the game, but im getting a little discouraged on this level. dont wanna have to stop playing! HELP!!

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Level 14 is kickin' my butt.

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Cute, but not very replayable. It almost comes down to guessing, which isn't the same as playing. "Reguessable" is what it is, I suppose. I had a problem whenever the logo guy's body was close to the edge of the play field, where I couldn't launch from where I wanted to. Clicking would take me out of the game window.

So, a miss for me, but I did enjoy the first few levels.

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Thanks a lot for all your comments :).

As (few) people noticed, my interpretation of "replay" was quite simple, about replaying a same level.

As many people suggested it, I guess I'll use a different color for the last shot marker (or maybe keeping only the last 10 markers and removing the old ones...).

Sorry for the overall difficulty, I guess the later levels still need to be tuned, and your comments will help me to do so :). I'll try to put the level 3 later in the game, and to correct the level 14 and 15.

I've also thought of adding "repelling vortex" (vortex that push you away instead of attracting you) to add more variety to the game.

For people stuck on level 14, the game features 15 levels, so don't be discouraged because you are close to the end :).

An hint for level 14 :

You'll need to collect the left arm (the closest one) first. Your shot should make the body pass behind the bottom vortex, then behind the right vortex.

A better hint :

put the shooting arrow under the left foot (you'll still have to find the right spot in this area)

Hope that helps.

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tenpura July 18, 2007 3:07 PM

I have to totally agree, lvl 14's pixel hunting is maddening. I have so many arrows the whole lower left is black, so now i can't even see where i'm dragging. Is there any way you could just strengthen the gravity or perhaps allow the body to pop on when its close enough? I can get both arms as you've described but the jig just crashes into the left whirlpool.

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tenpura July 18, 2007 3:11 PM

edit: I just got it. it's more like to the upper left of the left foot, but not too far out.

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DanielJ July 18, 2007 3:21 PM

This game rocks!

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Am I the only one that had more trouble on level 13 than 14? I thought level 2 was more difficult than 14 actually.

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A commendable use of the JiG logo and a decent concept. But I don't feel that this interpretation of Replay really matches that of similar games such as Spaced Penguin,

The vortex movement and satisfying limb-popping sounds make for a satisfying five minutes of fun. But it didn't compel me to complete all the levels.

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THANK YOU! THANK YOU! tenpura!

I read your edit comment on level 14, and got it on the first try, after an extremely long time of trying.

The funny thing was I got level 15 on my very first try. Crazy.

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funny game. enjoyable. the only criticism i have is not for the designer but for jay. i think you need a new logo, dude. i've been thinking that for awhile. something with a little more slickness and punch. get the nitrome guys to do one for you or something. as it is, it's a little clunky. please file this under constructive criticism. :)

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It's been filed! Thanks for the feedback darren! ^_^

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I got to level 3 and quit, after making a lovely circle of arrow-marks around the logo.
Walkthrough anyone? Might be hard to do.

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Level 3 took me a few tries, but I don't think it was even close to the difficulty of level 14. Level 14 was ridiculous.

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I also want to say that I love the JIG logo. In my opinion it's very original and fun, and it stands out. (no pun intended... ok, maybe there was a little bit of pun intended) I don't think you should change it at all. I love the little guy.

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Great use of the JIG logo, but I find pixel-hunting games like this tedious and frustrating, so I quit after noodling around with the first few levels. Guess I'll leave the constructive criticism to others.

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Dave, just keep in mind that constructive criticism doesn't always mean nice words. Nicely put bad words can be constructive, too. :P

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If anyone still need a hint for level 3 :

Drag the shooting arrow to its max length on the left, then drag it a little bit toward the bottom (about 15-20 pixels).
Release it and you should collect the upper limb first, then the bottom limb, without touching vortex.

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How many klevels are there to beat?

I'm on the 13th now and the hoghest level i can find a reference here is 15. If there are two more levels, it's OPK, but, to be honest, I dont really fancy doing it for 10 more levels...

The concept is OK and it's not hard at all to play and succeed. The most difficult level tokk like 2 minutes - and not because I'm so darn good (I'm not), but because it's not very difficult (and i mean it as a compliment) and one shoot takes like 2 secs...

Two things that i didn't really like:

- the levels seem to be in a random sequence difficulty-wise. I don't feel any increase in the difficulty as I'm going on - sometimes a "harder" level comes, sometimes a one-shooter.

- First I thought the idea of marking each shot's position is a great idea. but rather soon it became evident that showing only the last - or last couple of - shot(s)would be much more beneficial. Yes, some of the levels are pure pixel hunting after the first couple of tries and trying to find the last position among like 10 marks withing a half-an-inch square is not really that easy a thing. Having to locate only one would be much more of a help. A "more difficult"level can require 20 or more shots - and, be honest, who can remembers the result of 10 shots earlier? The only use of those early shot marks are that I know i've tried that position and it didn't work - but ony pixel away may, so it's not as much a help as an unneccessary feature.

The last thing: some of the marks are placed outside of the visible part of the field - that should not be so, i guess.

One thing that I really liked, on the other hand, is that you can - and often have to - actually shoot outside the screen just to see it come back later. Thats superb. I found myself staring at the seemingly actionless screen excited in waiting for the return of the orbited body - that's something i don't often get with these games - Superb :)

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OK, i know the answer to my first question - it's 15 levels altogether :)

At level 14 the presence of the earlier shots' marks is most definitely a hindrance.

Good one, all in all.

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Help with level 8! GRR!! ITS GETTING ME FURSTRATED!!!!

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Thanks again for all your comments !

For those who are interested, I just corrected some issues of the game (and Jay was kindly enough to upload the corrected version before posting the review :) :
- The last shot marker will appear in red :)
- I corrected Level 3 and Level 14 to lower the "pixel hunting", so these levels should be easier to beat

Enjoy ! :)

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st10109ed August 13, 2007 3:19 PM

Could somebody PLEASE post help with level 8???

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Level 8 Help :

You need to fly between the head and the right vortex. So shoot lightly towards the right (i.e. move horizontaly the shoot arrow about 15-20 pixels to the left), and you should clear this level.

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i really need help for level 15 please somebody post it i'v tried it thousands of times but i can't get it! its imposssible! help !!!! please!!

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