Tao


  • Currently 2.9/5
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Rating: 2.9/5 (97 votes)
| Comments (17) | Views (17)

TaoHelp the girl escape reality by meditating. The real world is sometimes amazing, but being in it all the time is often quite tiresome. Help the protagonist empty her mind by systematically preventing her thoughts from disturbing her meditation.

Theme interpretation: "The theme is "escape." I decided that taking it literally is not the most interesting way to go, so I thought what other ways of escaping I know. Then I thought of my favorite book, Tao Tei Ching, and it came to me: we escape the reality by meditating, and in doing so gain more control over it. Isn't it the best kind of escape there is?" -Sergey Mohov.

Play Tao

17 Comments

hyperkinetic Author Profile Page September 5, 2012 3:52 PM

It really bothered me that the girl was shown as only wanting to think about shopping, boys, and babies. If that is all that's on her mind then it shouldn't take that much to clear it. I would have liked to see something a bit more deep (and less stereotypical)explored. Also, I was was hoping for some sort of leveling or change to happen as a result of all the meditation but there is nothing and no challenge. Gets monotonous very quickly. Hand drawn art style is nice though and liked seeing that.

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Got "Fatal Error: Null"

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@Hyperkinetic: Try playing longer. Like... to 6000+ longer. Things do happen. Believe me.

That said, I understand why people would rate this so lowly - the start is really rather slow, and the really really really long loading time does not help.

I know this is not me to say this, but a 4+ minute loading time is kinda unprecedented for a game like this. I know that me saying that my computer is "decent" doesn't say much, but I can load Unity games much faster than this. I hope that this is a coding issue, because I can't see myself loading this game more than twice. Please try and see if you can reduce the loading time!

That said, I really liked your interpretation of the theme, and it is a very welcome difference to the expected norm. It is really simple and repetitive, so it will not be to core gamers' tastes, but this kind of gaming has their own audience, say like people who might enjoy Ferry Halim games.

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@Hyperkinetic Basically what @Anon said. Now, regarding the "stereotypical" thoughts, I can hardly take blame for that, because, as you could see from the intro, all artwork in the game was made (and invented, too) by Viktoria Chaika, who is a girl, so I'm assuming that what you're seeing in the game are her own thoughts. So yeah.

@sparrow @Anon Hey, both of your issues (error, loading time) and also a couple more (like CPU overload) are Unity Flash export issues. I made a point out of exporting this game to Flash out of Unity as a test exercise, and I now can see why the feature is in a beta. In Unity Web Player the game loads in a jiffy and plays flawlessly. That said, once the voting is over, I'll take it back to Unity Web Player, because the Flash version is acting ridiculously right now. Moreover, because of its limitations I had to let go of a couple of really fun features, such as procedural sound, complex moving patterns and more randomization. So yeah, unfortunately it's not a coding issue and will only be fixed once the competition is over.

At any rate, thanks to everyone for playing the game. I value your feedback (for instance, it came to me as a surprise that some people don't get far enough to see change), and will make appropriate changes.

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@Sergey:
How about Rule 10? Updates and bug fixes will be allowed during the judging period.

I suppose changing platforms is a tad of a stretch, but if it can be done, it may be a good idea. If it couldn't... oh well, I tried.

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hyperkinetic Author Profile Page September 5, 2012 6:48 PM

I'm playing on a very small somewhat older laptop and the game loads extremely slow for me, both at the start and during game-play. As a result the game lags and sometime doesn't register clicks and just starts over, so that affects progress. Maybe I will try to find another computer to try it on.

On the advice of the comments on here I reloaded the game and played it a little longer and did notice the background and such begin to change, so I am glad that is indeed part of the experience.

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hyperkinetic Author Profile Page September 5, 2012 7:04 PM

To put the lag issues in perspective, the thought bubbles are showing up at a rate of about 1 every 5 seconds. I get to about 350pts where the space background kicks in and two bubbles at a time show up and it hangs and then the lag is so bad it usually ends the game right there.

*In further playings I am seeing there are a few more items that cycle in the bubbles, like hamburgers, and a guitar. I suppose that doesn't add depth exactly, but lends weight to the idea it is just "cutesy" stuff. The first time through it literally was just jewelery, dresses, a swaddled baby, a man holding a rose, purse, make up... cycling over and over.

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I liked this game, for a while.

The only thing I felt it lacked was a 'goal'.

There may be a final goal, but I wasn't sure. Some sort of indication of progress would have been nice, I got somewhere around 1200-1300 points and then gave up.

If there had been say a 'relaxation' bar at the bottom which slowly filled, or a "Current Points/Target Points" marker. Anything to show me when the next change was going to occur, I may have been more inclined to try again to get that next stage.

Good job overall, just missing the little shine.

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Nice graphics, fine implementation. I just felt that I didn't really have a goal. I know there are plenty of games where the only point is to get as high a score as possible, but is that the only point of this one as well or is there actually an ending? I got too bored to try to find out.

I also noticed and was put off by the stereotypical thoughts of the main character. Even if the art was done by someone else, ehhhh... it is extremely off-putting. I saw positive pregnancy tests, dresses, shoes, necklaces, earrings, men, babies... as opposed to the very occasional elephant or equation. Whether the artist is male or female, that gave me an instant dislike for the whole exercise.

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawlDu_4CvtDUjLajy5f-Hmi7pAJdGJHBpl0 Author Profile Page September 7, 2012 8:39 PM

Hello, I see someone recommended playing past 6000+ points! That's 1200 clicks! I'm sorry, but the game is too dull to play even close to that long. Granted, it's a cute little different take on escape idea. But, just not interesting enough. Being able to save progress rather than starting from scratch may help, but even still I don't think I'd be pulled into the game for long.

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Using a touchpad - and I can get ~3000 in all of less than 2 mins (ignoring load time). Honestly - play this game for more than 11 clicks. Try to even get more than 70 clicks to get it up to speed.

For the totally impatient, first 3 upgrades is around 11 clicks, 30 clicks, and 70 clicks. Afterwords, the game gets too fast for me to keep counting clicks. Just understand that each "upgrade" significantly upgrades the score per click, so it doesn't take 1200 clicks to get 6000+ points. It does take maybe 200~300 clicks, which... is literally nothing when you actually get to that point since you will start having like 5+ thought bubbles all shrinking on you all at the same time, bubbles nested in each other, and one little mis-click or incorrect click order ending your game.

Long story short, as I pointed out before, play this Like an Orsinal game. I do admit, though, it's not as cute.

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I enjoyed the concept at first, but it moves too slowly. Also, why is she having more thoughts if she's getting deeper into meditation? And why do I have to be more stressed trying to make her more relaxed?

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This reminds me a lot of the meditation mini-game in Spa Mania, though that one was more "click the 'bad thoughts' to make them go away and don't click the 'good thoughts' so they can help Jade meditate." That one also had a time limit which made it less monotonous.

I liked the artwork, but I'm also in the camp that wasn't too pleased with the stereotypical "female" thoughts.

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havendreamer Author Profile Page September 13, 2012 11:29 PM

I played Tao for 5 minutes, then walked away. my initial impression was that it lacked depth and variety, since it is really just a single skill game: click the object.

Today I felt I should give it another try, so i sat for almost 30 minutes clicking away. I got well over 6000 points on one of my games. After playing this time, I am willing to amend my initial impression: The game does offer variety as one progresses (scenery change, moving background, shrinking/moving objects, and of course faster procession of objects, etc), but the further i got, the less i wanted to continue. The difficulty/challenge is well paced, but still the game has little to no depth. It is a one-note instrument, and the mindless clicking is not engaging. after several long games, I walked away, never to return.

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anachronista Author Profile Page September 17, 2012 12:24 AM

Agree with other comments re: stereotypical girlie thoughts. The gender of the artist(s) is neither here nor there.

I followed Anon's advice and played to about 6700. Getting there was pretty quick---after level one, things speed up. But, actually, that's about all that happens. There's no significant conceptual or mechanical shift. (Hope that's not a spoiler.)

The premise of the game offers lots of potential for diverse and engaging gameplay---maybe something more like Elephant Quest. I'd love to see this game explore its options further.

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I loved the style of the artwork -- though I share other reviewers' distaste at the stereotypical 'things women think about' choices of what that stylish artwork depicts.

The animation also worked very nicely, particularly so once her eyes closed and she began to "drift" away from reality. (I only made it to around 1400 points despite multiple attempts, so my appraisal is based on that part of the game.)

For someone who enjoys fast-reflexes type games, I could see this being quite enjoyable; for me, unfortunately, the perfectly reasonable progression into more and more challenging gameplay phases locked me out of ...some proportion of the game, I have no idea how much. Knowing my score was helpful in terms of the game acknowledging my progress, but I had no idea whether I had nearly beaten it, or barely begun, or whether there even was a win-state. Certainly there are plenty of games that just ramp up the difficulty until eventually it's past the ability of any human to keep playing.

The idea of meditation-as-escape is a good one, and I think that concept could have worked for the competition theme... but I didn't feel that this game worked as a realization of that idea.

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julianatron Author Profile Page October 8, 2012 2:15 PM

This was one of my favorites from the CDGC #10 competition and I was disappointed that it didn't score better. Just want to compliment the creator on a job well done.

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