Modifying online games

No, I’m not talking about the big, alternate worlds games; I mean the little games that you can play in 5 or 10 minutes, or maybe a half-hour under most circumstances.

Specifically, the game I’m talking about is Maze Builder. I’ve tried to find out who wrote it, including a fruitless attempt at a variety of search terms. As it stands, it’s crappy, but it wouldn’t be a bad game at all, if the two completely useless tiles were just eliminated from the game’s inventory of pieces. You can find this game on about a zillion different games sites, but I’m on speaking terms with a site owner of the one where I play, who says she has no clue who wrote it. It’s just out there.

If you look at some of the other sites that host it, you’ll see all kinds of complaints from people who can’t manage to win even the first round, ever. I’m not sure what is the highest number of rounds I’ve finished, but it’s several. But that’s with a “win” rate of maybe 5% (not kidding; one night I kept track on how often I won 0, 1 or 2 rounds, and gave her the results) - and that’s not really winning; it’s just being able to complete at least one round. My best guess is that the odds would at least be cut in half, if those two entirely useless tiles weren’t there - maybe better.

Actually, I can think of a couple of other modifications that would leave the two useless tiles, but still make it easier for a player to complete rounds.

I asked whether it couldn’t be modified, but she says that flash games are so written that when you decompile them, you disable some of the animations. Isn’t there any way to make this into a game that can be less frustrating to play?

This is also a bump, but …

I want to add that I do respect intellectual property rights. It’s why my first priority is to try to find the author. With minor changes of one kind or another, it could be good enough to attract enough players to be worth licensing to all those sites that host games of that sort.

However, I’ve also wondered whether it wasn’t written as a class assignment, and just released “into the wild” afterward. Like everything else, one learns programming by doing, regardless of the language. And games programming is one of the hottest areas today, if what I see of the industry from outside isn’t a distorted view. And given that on the first screen of the game there are those two things that look as though they could be characters in some non-western alphabet.

Still … when all is said and done, I’d at least like to know whether the problem my friend mentioned, that decompiling Flash programs wrecks animations, has been licked.


Wow. That game sucks. You mentioned two useless tiles, but it’s more like two non-useless tiles. Why are doing this to yourself?

Anyway, I was able to download and crack the .swf file open with this:

I also found this, but haven’t tried it:

As far as the legality goes, I think there are threads about abandonware on this board. But, if you’re going to figure out how to fix up this game, you might as well make a new one with at least a rotate piece option…

PS: Just go play Orisinal games. They’re already perfect.

Hmm. Seems to me like this game sucks mainly because where the tile actually goes when you click appears to have only a vague relation to where it appeared to be before clicking. :mad:

EDIT: Oh, nevermind, I figured it out. The shapes must be placed as complete tiles. It wasn’t immediately obvious because most of the tiles are small and useless. :stuck_out_tongue:

On the other hand, I love the angry monkey animation when you fail to make a path.

Why have I been doing it? The challenge. I don’t have the patience to play long games, but I can cope with short ones.

One night, I was playing Jewels, and I kept winning, and got to the 80-something level before I finally lost. I even took a bathroom break, hoping to get timed out or something. :stuck_out_tongue: It took nearly 3 hours, and I thought I was gonna die before I got out of it - but I’m constitutionally incapable of abandoning a game I’m winning. :smack: My son got a great horse-laugh out of it, because he’s the same way.

IANA programmer. :slight_smile: And the rotate piece option is a great idea - one I hadn’t thought of. But I’ll mention this to the site owner. Maybe … who knows?

Most of the tiles are useful, if you can just figure out where to place them. The frustrating part is that you get them in random order, and it’s at least half luck, guessing where you can put them that they’ll be useful. I have managed to complete about five levels (once - could have been four, but I doubt it, maybe it was six). I say about, because I was too busy trying to outguess the random number generator to keep track of how many levels I’d completed - and, of course, it doesn’t say what level you’re at.

Thanks for help and suggestions!

Yeah, the angry monkey is great. Didja notice that the little guy back where he started is also angry? But he’s cute when he does get to the coconut tree. He picks one and waves it.

And you see what I meant about the two completely useless tiles - the ones with single bits of land on opposite sides - not in the corners where they could occasionally be useful?

All that is why I really do think it was a class assignment - and not one at the end of the semester (unless (s)he didn’t get a very good grade - yeah, I spent too many years on campuses)?