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Frogger: Get Hoppin feedback

Discussion in 'Konami Gaming' started by doughtaker, Mar 29, 2017.

  1. doughtaker

    doughtaker Bronze

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    I recently had the chance to play the skill-based Frogger: Get Hoppin game at MGM Grand and wanted to give some feedback to Konami based on my experience with it. I spent about an hour on the machine and these are my thoughts:

    The skill-based base game seems fair enough, even with the random maps resulting in some rounds being flooded with bonus points available while others had almost none. It would've also been nice if in the lilypad pick, there was a 2 or 4-credit consolation award available in addition to the standard 8 and the wheel spin. These are relatively minor issues though, and if they were the only concerns I had with Frogger I would still make a return trip to play this game again.

    There are two issues though, that are significant enough to prevent me from playing the game again under the same conditions that I did. The first issue is that the game's performance seems to be inconsistent. In most of the 15-second rounds, I had both a segment with significant lag (unacceptably high delay from the time I pressed a button until said button press resulted in the frog moving) and a segment that ran very smoothly (near-instantaneous responses to button presses). Sometimes these states would alternate more than once during a single play.

    The second issue is with the buttons itself (the 5 buttons used to control the frog). I was not comfortable with the tactile feedback from the buttons on this game; for multi-button arcade-based gameplay the buttons are too large and there is too much distance between the buttons' centers. I had to press down on the buttons with more force than I would expect for an arcade game (or even most video poker and slot machines) and this took a while to get used to. I believe it would be better if the buttons were either (a) square and aligned similar to an older IGT slant-top video poker machine, or (b) circular, classic arcade buttons in the same alignment, but with closer spacing just like one would expect to find on a typical arcade cabinet.

    Overall, I like the gameplay concepts for this machine. However, I see mechanical issues that need to be fixed before I'd be willing to play it again.
     
  2. KonamiMarketing

    KonamiMarketing News & Info from the Team @ Konami Gaming, Inc.
    Official Account

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    So glad you had a chance to check it out, and much appreciate the feedback! With your comments on the consolation lilypad awards and the button hardware, these are two things we went back and forth about and considered very heavily in development. It's great to see that the same things that were important to our team were also very important to you as a player. The delay you described is strange. We'll have to investigate further. Thank you again for your thoughts!
     
  3. dvandentop

    dvandentop Chairman
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    I played at MGM as well but only was able to record a wheel spin lots of fun and challenging for sure I usually got my $2 back
     
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  4. doughtaker

    doughtaker Bronze

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    You're welcome. Please let me know if you do release a revised version; I'll find the time to check it out.
     
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  5. doughtaker

    doughtaker Bronze

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    So a revised version of Frogger: Get Hoppin' has been put out at several casinos in the last few weeks, and I've put in some time on a couple of these machines and would like to pass along feedback to @KonamiMarketing relating to this new version. There's actually a lot I want to say about it and I think it would make more sense if I split it into two posts. This post will deal with the current version of the machine and its mechanics (similar to my opening post), and hopefully later this week I'll have time to comment on the "bigger scheme" of things as it relates to this game.

    First off, the button layout is a huge improvement from the previous version. The feel of pushing the buttons is much smoother and the motion involved is much more natural than before. The buttons themselves aren't quite "arcade perfect" or "video poker perfect" for tactile feedback but it is very good, probably the best that I've seen amongst non-video poker machines utilizing skill-based gameplay.

    I'm still finding lag and reliability/consistency to be an issue though. When Frogger runs smoothly, it is really smooth -- if I mash a button 6 or 7 times in a second because I have a clear column, the frog does move those 6-7 spaces. But the same situation could come up in the next play and those same 6-7 button presses in one second will result in the frog advancing only 4 or 5 spaces instead. I've also had games in which I quickly and correctly inputted a 3 or 4-button combo to navigate through tight spaces (only one safe space on consecutive rows) but one of the presses in the middle of the combo did not register, resulting in my progress being unexpectedly halted (plus the penalty that goes along with a miss).

    There was also one pattern that I observed which might suggest memory issues (and possibly also partially explain the lag). A few games after inserting money into the machine was when Frogger seemed to run at its smoothest. Beyond that point, I felt that the more games I played, the more noticeable lag would become. Inserting more money into the machine would then "reset" the cycle. Another thing to look into would be if the density of sprites on-screen has anything to do with causing lag. (i.e. Is a screen with a lot of vehicles or turtles making the game run slower than a screen with just a few of those?)

    Getting to the crux of the lag issues is key, otherwise I think 99% of players will see it as completely impossible to get the 60+ steps and 16 flies (or 70+ steps and 11 flies) needed with an error-free game just to reach the bronze-level skill progressive. If the skill progressives are perceived as impossible to win, then I don't think that bodes well for the future of this game. I do have several ideas on how to address this, the simplest of which would be to have the needed scores for the skill progressives drop a little bit with every failed attempt and then jump back up when hit, similar to how the star/wheel upgrades are obtained. Other ideas get into the realm of the "bigger scheme" and as such I plan to put those forth in a future post.

    Overall, the latest version is definitely better than the original MGM Grand version, but I believe it can be further improved to provide a better experience for players.
     
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