LogicFactory - Testers needed!

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robly18
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LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby robly18 » Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:09 pm

So, as some of you may know, I've been developing a game. In particular, I've been working on this one game since early April.

However, I've hit a wall. Specifically, I've hit the point where I need to do two things:
1-Make things look pretty
2-Make the levels good

Now, I can handle the former, to an extent, but the latter I cannot do by myself.

Which is why I ask you, my friends, to playtest my game! After all, it's worked for Andy!

So, here's the deal: I give you a download link, and you give me your feedback!
I've actually had the game semi-ready for a while, but as Andy suggested, I should probably have made the game a bit prettier and easier to understand than a jumble of placeholder graphics and nonsensical buttons.

I've improved a bunch, but they're still there, to an extent. However, you should hopefully be able to tell what does what.
So, without further ado, here's the link:

Beta3- http://www.mediafire.com/download/rm66q ... FBeta3.rar
Zip- http://www.mediafire.com/download/hdcx0 ... FBeta3.zip

Beta2- http://www.mediafire.com/download/l5sl1 ... FBeta2.rar
Zip- http://www.mediafire.com/download/lrjs1 ... FBeta2.zip

Beta1- http://www.mediafire.com/download/oap6g ... FBeta1.rar
Zip- http://dw4.convertfiles.com/files/0245724001402493135/lfbeta1.zip

Alpha7_3- http://www.mediafire.com/download/d7588 ... pha7_3.rar

Alpha7_2- http://www.mediafire.com/download/nyr61 ... pha7_2.rar

Alpha7_1- http://www.mediafire.com/download/4g6m1 ... pha7_1.rar

Alpha7- http://www.mediafire.com/download/iy3y7 ... Alpha7.rar

Alpha6- http://www.mediafire.com/download/2e4mv ... Alpha6.rar
Zipped file, courtesy of Andy- http://www.testtubegames.com/ShareBox/LogicMachine.zip

You know the drill: any feedback is appreciated.

As a side note, I know some of you may have problems, either with rars or running exe's.
If you've any problem, I'll do my best. Andy has offered to help with saving it as a zip instead of a rar, and if anyone knows of a way to compile C++ into mac code, I'd gladly send the source code.
Last edited by robly18 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:29 am, edited 10 times in total.
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testtubegames
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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby testtubegames » Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:03 pm

Thought I'd drop this here for people who didn't wanna deal with .rar files.

http://www.testtubegames.com/ShareBox/LogicMachine.zip

My first bit of feedback:
a) Nice that the buttons in general match their actions. Though you should change the images for the 'speed' buttons.
b) First level especially feels like a glitch, since the robot just keeps moving. Anyone playing the game would think the game is broken, or get confused if they were doing something wrong when it just keeps going around, around, around. Why not just make it be a one-shot delivery? And in levels that need multiple deliveries, you can accommodate that... but later, and only when it's needed.

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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby robly18 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 7:41 am

First of all, I was just a tidbit too lazy to change the speed buttons. People had figured them out on their own anyway, and I couldn't wait to release it, so I figured it couldn't hurt.

Secondly, as for the first level... If I made it go only once, it might give the wrong impression. I can see your point however. I'll wait on a bit more feedback before deciding what to do.
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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby robly18 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:11 am

Aight, just released a new version. Has a bunch of bugfixes, tells you what level you're on and... That's pretty much it, actually.

Oh, right, I also did some other things, but that's behind the hood stuff.
Anyway, new link should be in OP.
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NealCruco
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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby NealCruco » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:02 pm

I downloaded the game. However, I have to say that I have no idea what to do. No idea what all the buttons do. No idea even what the objective of each level is. I started typing out questions here, but there is such a complete and utter lack of information on this game that all of my questions ran into each other and caused a mental traffic jam. So I'll just say this. Explain what the game is about, what I'm supposed to do on each level, and how I'm supposed to do it. This includes explaining the function of each button, as well as what all the things on the screen are.

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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby robly18 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:24 pm

I see, thanks for the feedback.
I'll see what I can do. How far did you get exactly? Did you manage to at least get past the menus? (Which I'll admit, are not the best I've ever seen)
Did you manage to at least finish level 1? What about level 2?

This is my first game, you see: And I am in need of honest feedback. However, it would be appreciated if you could tell me where I need to improve, because honestly, I don't know much about video game design.

Either way, thanks. The more feedback I get, the better I can make this game!

EDIT: Hold on, I'll upload a version with the speedup buttons with actual textures. Thus far, they're the only ones apart from the main menu button on the level select that don't have a proper texture yet. Actually,I'll just get the level screen button a texture anyway.

EDIT2: There, updated it. Version 7_1 because I don't see a change in textures fit of a new version number. Being the maker of my own game means I get to dictate version numbers how I want them to be, so that's neat.

Anyway, give it a shot.

As a side note, however, I did indeed not do much in the way of helping it be figured out. Other playtesters had managed it fine, but then again, they did have a bit more information about the game than you. If you do figure it out, please make sure to give me some assistance in how you think I could do such a thing, because I honestly have not the slightest clue as to how to convey the message of what does what without spoiling the whole level. As well as this, I want to make it so that the player figures it out by themselves, as opposed to one of those so called "tutorials" that overwhelm the player with information, have buttloads of text and don't let the player figure anything out.
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exfret
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Lots of suggestions

Postby exfret » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:25 pm

Okay, tried it out. I've grouped my comments by category.

To improve playtesting:
-Tell us what stuff does, either in this thread or whatever, just say the specific features of each thing and what they do. It doesn't have to be a step-by-step tutorial, but it would be helpful to do this if you add any more complex things in (I'm doing okay guessing what does so far, though).
-If possible, make it so it saves your level. (Probably less of a priority).
-Give names to levels or do something else that helps me find specific levels.
-Please more text. I mean, adding text to buttons can't be that hard, can it? And, it helps me know what various buttons do.

Little things:
-The speeds aren't very well-varied. How about a slow, normal, and super-duper fast. You'd use super-duper fast to just get past a level or see if there's an arrow (this would stay as it is). Normal would probably also stay as it is, as speed option two, but it should be the default. Normal could be used to figure out where a problem occurs. Slow whould be much slower, and should be used to figure out how a problem occurs.
-Something to signal when you click on a button (maybe a color-change) would be nice.
-The letters for the different arrows first gave me the impression that they involved the keyboard, which obviously wasn't true. (I was pretty confused for a while how I interacted with those arrows).
-There should be an easier way to change which way an arrow faces. I was thinking you could make it change its direction if you swipe in a direction that differs from its current one. You should make sure to keep the arrows in the same 'mode'.
-The menu button in the level should go to the level-select. It's annoying having to press an extra button just to change levels.
-It would be nice to have a 'next level' (and possibly a 'previous level') button while playing a level.
-It would be nice if you could tell without clicking what a receiver needs.
-You should probably draw a new image to show when the thing is stacked so I don't have to look at the thing on the right every time to see if that's the top block of a stack or the only block.
-You should make it clear which way a toggled-off arrow points, possibly through making it translucent.
-Represent when something is fixed/not movable.

Big things:
-I agree with Andy. A way you could fix this would be to make it more obvious when you're completing the level. Right now, a faint change in green tint isn't gonna cut it.
-Music and sounds for stuff. (I guess this might be a small thing).
-More levels.
-Add stuff. (See "Additions" below).
-Change levels cliche. (See summary below).
-Make level editor and text for us to challenge each other?

Level design:
-Level 5 should be removed. It's just like level 4.
-Level 11 should be made more difficult so it isn't nearly identical to level 10, but then, there wouldn't be much difficulty change between 11 and 12, so I'd suggest morphing 11 and 12. But then 13 would get a little repetitious... I think you should just go through your levels and remove the repetition and add in more original ideas. 14 and 15 are also very similar in concept. 17 and 16 are also very similar.
-If the ratio of crossed-circles needed to open-circles needed is different than 1:1, you could change there probabilities accordingly without altering gameplay to make solving the puzzle quicker. (This would probably confuse the player without giving any major disadvantages, though...)

Bugs:
-After entering level 21 or 22, every level shows up as that arrow-filled (assumably a placeholder) level until I restart the game.
-On level 19, somehow the open yellow receiver switched to a nothing receiver (it wanted nothing, e.g. it had nothing displayed when you clicked on it and it wouldn't accept open yellow boxes). I don't know how this happened, though, so I guess we'll just have to be on the lookout.
-Also level 19, somehow, the toggle arrows started working when they were off, and not working when they were on. Also mysterious.

Possible additions:
-Roadblocks that block your way.
-Multiple robots (maybe with the additional challenge that they can't crash into each other).
-Arrows that only work for one robot, box-givers that only give to one robot, or receivers that only accept boxes from one robot in particular.
-Some receivers can overfill if they receive proportionally much more boxes than others.
-Trashbins that dispose of the block that the robot is currently carrying.
-Toggle arrows with a more complex off-on pattern (like, 2 times on 2 times off then repeat, or 1 on 2 off 3 on 4 off, etc.).
-Remote switches that can turn an arrow, box giver, robot, receiver, or teleporter off/on from afar when a robot goes over it.
-Teleporters.
-Trampolines (make it so you can jump over one square or so).
-Bridges. Work like trampolines, except one direction.
-General relativity.

So, I liked it. It was fun, and it seems like it could have potential. The question you should probably ask yourself is how much you're going to work on it. How far will you get with it? If you don't think you'll get very far, you should probably plan a stopping point soon. It's always nice to, years later, come across your completed creation than an incomplete test project. Anyways, if you're gonna work on it more, it would be really cool (for me at least) if you could morph it to make it all a single thing. I don't really like games that are just a series of levels, because they get boring after a while. You just complete levels, what more is there? You could make it so you start out with that one robot and get some type of currency from delivering boxes, and once you get enough currency, you can buy another robot built to deliver different boxes. You could also buy spaces to put your robots in. Arrows, teleporters, bridges, robots, etc. could all cost some amount of that currency. Different arrows could cost differing amounts. This would encourage the player to try a minimal strategy involving the least number arrows possible. Selling should give the player a 100% payback to encourage trying out new strategies. I think it would be really cool to just have one large space that you could expand in (you'd start out with only a small space within that with the ability to buy other spaces), and it would definitely make it less cliche. I also always like it when what I'm making doesn't just go to waste. When you have levels, you just make something, and then you get past the level, that's all. But if you did this one-level thing, then what you make would continually effect you, and you'd have a reason to make it more efficient. I think it would also make it feel more like a logic factory than a bunch of delivery puzzles. In new spaces, you could include new obstacles (robots can't pass through here, robots can go through here but you can't place anything here, robots can only go through here one way, etc.), possibly new environmental conditions (signified by differently colored squares), and some locked-in-place things like you have already. The new environmental conditions would require a new type of robot. Basically, the big space with a bunch of small spaces would be like a bunch of levels stitched together into one huge, super-awesome level in which you get a reason to be efficient (both in your use of arrows and time). Oh, and when you put something in the wrong place, you could simply be deducted a fee. I just think that this would be really cool if you could do it, but if not, then I guess that's okay, too. I'm probably just doing my exfret-overdrive thing where I imagine the impossible anyways. If you're worried about disappointing me by not including this awesome feature because it's too much work, you can just settle on doing an easier feature instead, like incorporating general relativity.
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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby robly18 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:59 pm

Holy crap, exfret. Andy was right when he told me to put this on the forums, this is great feedback.

Aight so, here's my responses to some of your things:

exfret wrote:To improve playtesting:
-Tell us what stuff does, either in this thread or whatever, just say the specific features of each thing and what they do. It doesn't have to be a step-by-step tutorial, but it would be helpful to do this if you add any more complex things in (I'm doing okay guessing what does so far, though).
-If possible, make it so it saves your level. (Probably less of a priority).
-Give names to levels or do something else that helps me find specific levels.
-Please more text. I mean, adding text to buttons can't be that hard, can it? And, it helps me know what various buttons do.


The first part.. Well, I don't want to put stuff in this thread, because I do want to make sure that the game is good enough that the players get it by themselves. However, I also want to avoid using text, and have no idea how to convey the mechanics without using it.

As to making it save the level, it certainly would be possible, but would be a bit of a hassle and would make the code certainly uglier.

Giving names is quite possible: the hardest part about that sounds like it would be to draw the box in which you'd say the level name.

As for more text... Like I said, I'm trying to avoid using text, but I guess some buttons, like the erase one, are indeed a bit vague.

exfret wrote:Little things:
-The speeds aren't very well-varied.

Sounds easy enough to fix. Change two or three variables, and it should be done.

exfret wrote:-Something to signal when you click on a button (maybe a color-change) would be nice.

Huh? Which kind of buttons? The arrows or the buttons like "delete" and such? To me, it seems like they give you enough feedback as is

exfret wrote:-The letters for the different arrows first gave me the impression that they involved the keyboard, which obviously wasn't true. (I was pretty confused for a while how I interacted with those arrows).

Hm. Well, I got nothing. I guess that's what happens when you try to make a game around experimentation.

exfret wrote:-There should be an easier way to change which way an arrow faces. I was thinking you could make it change its direction if you swipe in a direction that differs from its current one. You should make sure to keep the arrows in the same 'mode'.

I'm sorry, but this looks like way, way too much of a hassle. I mean, if I run out of things to do, I might attempt to do it, but as is, I'd need to overhaul most of my class hierarchies.

exfret wrote:-The menu button in the level should go to the level-select. It's annoying having to press an extra button just to change levels.
-It would be nice to have a 'next level' (and possibly a 'previous level') button while playing a level.

Noted.

exfret wrote:-It would be nice if you could tell without clicking what a receiver needs.
-You should probably draw a new image to show when the thing is stacked so I don't have to look at the thing on the right every time to see if that's the top block of a stack or the only block.

My main problem with these two would be how to do it, exactly. If you have any suggestions, feel free to give them.

exfret wrote:-You should make it clear which way a toggled-off arrow points, possibly through making it translucent.
-Represent when something is fixed/not movable.

The first one sounds possible, but the second one... Well, what is fixed or not is kind of set in stone by a flag set in my level editor (read: notepad) and is level-wide.


exfret wrote:-I agree with Andy. A way you could fix this would be to make it more obvious when you're completing the level. Right now, a faint change in green tint isn't gonna cut it

As always, any suggestion as to how I could do this?

exfret wrote:-Music and sounds for stuff. (I guess this might be a small thing).
-More levels.

The former is, indeed a small thing and not really a priority. Also sounds like something I should've planned ahead for, as right now seems like it would be a bit too late.
As for the latter, I was waiting on more feedback on the level design. The one you gave me looks good, and I'll be sure to make some more levels.

exfret wrote:-Make level editor and text for us to challenge each other?

There already is a level editor... Sorta. Look in the "levelfile.txt". It has the levels and such. However, the inputs and outputs and what the letters mean are indeed hardcoded into the game, and making a custom output maker sounds way, way out of the scope of what I'm doing here.

exfret wrote:Level design: -snip-

Noted.

exfret wrote:-After entering level 21 or 22, every level shows up as that arrow-filled (assumably a placeholder) level until I restart the game.

Right. That's C++ going crazy trying to read something that isn't there. There isn't data for the 21st and 22nd levels yet (there used to be, but I removed a couple levels) so it tries to read data that doesn't exist.


exfret wrote:-other bugs-

I got nothing. I'll look into it.


exfret wrote:Possible additions:
-snip-

Right. A bit too much for what I can handle (getting it to be as-is was already difficult), so don't expect many of these to be added. If I ever make a sequel, however, I'll look into it.

exfret wrote:-General relativity.


Added. When machine is going faster, time ticks slower for it.
Incidentally, it has no way of telling time, so it doesn't actually change anything.


As for the rest:
I don't plan on going *too* far with it, but I do plan on finishing it. This is my first attempt at a serious game, but I don't plan to spend months developing this. I've learned a lot making this, but now I want to put that knowledge to use from scratch, and not keep working on a game that, looking back on it, looks like it was mostly written by a drunk weasel. However, I do want to get this to at least a playable state. My plan so far is to just keep working on level design and minor features, and once I've gotten that done, share it with my friends.
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exfret
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Guide to a Robly18's Game, By exfret

Postby exfret » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:32 pm

NealCruco wrote:...

Don't ask me how I figured it out, but I did. I must have a robly-sense or something. I'm gonna be more specific than might be necessary to make sure I don't miss anything. Anyways, here's whatchya do:

1) Getting to the Game: Open the game. You've probably already done this before.

2) Getting to the Level Select Menu: Click 'play'. You've also probably already done this before.

3) Getting to Level 1: Click on the 1. That means level 1. The blank button leads you back to the menu.

4) Starting the Level: Press the green play button in the lower right corner. Everything's already set up for you, so you won't have to do anything. (The little post-it like things on the lower right are supposed to provide hints).

5) Explanation of What's Happening: Watch as the robot goes around. It starts out at the arrow with the 'M' (I have no idea why it's an 'M'). The arrows change the direction it's going. It delivers the boxes generated by the red thing with the horizontal zig-zag to the other thing with the vertical zig-zag. The three arrows at the bottom control the robot's speed (they go in order of increasing speed). You should probably click on the last one so the robot doesn't take forever. As the robot completes the level, the receiver with the vertical zig-zag slowly turns green. You may notice a red square/stop button has taken place of the play button. The number below that is the level you are on. The eraser erases all player-made arrows, and the red menu button obviously leads you to the Main Menu. The rectangle on the right displays what the robot is currently carrying. Once the receiver turns all the way green, it should go to the next level automatically and say "Level Won!"

6) Level 2: Click anywhere to remove the pop-up "Level Won!" screen. Press play. Note what happens. You can delete arrows so delete the arrow that's causing the problem by clicking on that arrow and clicking the red 'delete' button. Now press play and fast-forward. If you delete the wrong arrow, you can create a new arrow by clicking, swiping in the direction the new arrow should go, and then releasing. A gray circly thing should appear when you do this.

7) Level 3: As said before, you create an arrow by clicking and swiping in the the direction of the arrow. Arrows change the direction of the robot. The robot starts out at the arrow with the 'M'. Create the arrows so that they lead the robot first to the box-giving thing with the horizontal zig-zag, in green, and then to the receiver with the vertical zig-zag. Press play, and watch to make sure that the robot doesn't do anything wrong. If the robot ever does anything wrong, like crashing into a wall, or giving the receiver thing the wrong package, an empty package, or wrong packages, then a little screen pop-up thing like the "Level Won!" one will come up, so you could just fast-forward it like last level, but you might want to know if you made the the arrows correctly, and how the robot messes up if it does, which would be why you would keep it on its current speed if you want.

8) Level 4: Delete the arrow you start with, since it's facing the wrong way. Now, do the same thing you did in level 3 (make a circuit that leads first through the box giver, then the receiver and back), except choose one of the arrows to become the machine spawn by clicking on it and selecting 'Make Machine Spawn.' You can change it back by clicking 'Make arrow.' Make sure the robot passes through the box-giver first, and then the receiver, or else it'll say "wrong package." You only need to place arrows where the robot changes its direction.

9) Early Levels (besides 1, 2, 3, and 4): Level 5 is just like Level 4, except without the arrow you have to delete, so it should be a piece of cake. Remember that there has to be a machine spawn for you to play the level, and you'll get the 'wrong package' pop-up when your machine goes over a receiver without a package. In level 6, there are multiple colors, you need to get the right color package to the right receiver. Click on a receiver to see the type of package it takes. Build a circuit that leads the robot from the red package-giver to the red receiver to the yellow package giver to the yellow package receiver and back. Both receivers must turn completely green for you to complete the level. Level 7 is like level 6, except the yellow receiver (not actually yellow, but it only excepts yellow packages, so please don't be confused by my use of the word) is opposite the yellow deliverer (yes! I finally have a better word for it than package-giver!), and the red receiver is opposite the red deliverer, so you'll have to work around that.

10) Middle Levels: On level 8, note the M and the T arrows have already been placed for you, and you can't delete or modify them. The T arrow, as the diagram in the bottom right attempts to explain, toggles between changing the robot's direction and not changing the robot's direction every time the robot moves over it. Try to use this to your advantage in getting boxes to both receivers using only that one deliverer. On level 9, be sure to check what each receiver accepts. Now, you can choose to make an arrow a toggle arrow. You can also toggle its initial state (it will turn invisible when you toggle it to off). The level 10 receivers need you to pick up a red package, then a yellow package in that order and drop them off at the receiver. Level 11 is the same thing, except the order is opposite what you might first attempt. The diagram on level 12 tries to tell you to use toggle arrows in supplying both receivers with a red and a yellow (in that order). Level 13 is very similar. Make sure to click on each receiver, as the lower-right-hand-corner-diagram tries to tell you, in order to figure out what they accept. Level 14 is the same, except with 2 pairs of colors. This level can be tricky, so be sure to use toggle arrows. The same goes for level 15.

11) End-of-game levels: On level 16, you are presented with an 'o' arrow and a diagram with some 50% chance thing. This diagram attempts to explain to you that the deliverer delivers and open circle package half the time and a crossed circle package the other half of the time. When you get an open circle package, the 'o' arrow (the 'o' is actually an open circle), will change the direction of the robot, but not if you get a crossed circle package. The top receiver accepts only open circles, and the bottom only crossed circles. Use the sorting arrow to pass the level. On level 17, you can now create these special "if" arrows and toggle them to change what type of packages they act on. Level 18 contains 1 open circle receiver and two crossed circle receivers, so you'll have to figure out a way to deliver to both crossed circle receivers. The open circle receiver will also turn green twice as fast as the crossed circle ones, because the crossed circle ones have to share their packages. 19, in my opinion, was a nightmare. I was having some problems with it and it seemed to have glitches. If you give up, remember there's nothing keeping you from skipping ahead. In level 20, the two receivers accept one of the combinations on one of the two rows (so it doesn't matter what type of red thing you have, but it does matter the yellow). Level 21 and 22 appear to be placeholder levels. If you enter them, a glitch/bug occurs that makes it so that every level you enter afterwards is the same as levels 21 and 22 unless you exit and reenter the game, which actually isn't too bad. Well, that's it.

So, yeah, it's a bit wordy, but hopefully it helps. You probably can figure stuff out on your own after reading the first part, and you can always consult this later if you get confused about something later on.
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robly18
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Re: LogicFactory - Testers needed!

Postby robly18 » Sat Jun 07, 2014 6:51 pm

Exfret, thank you. Glad to hear you have some sort of robly-sense, and glad to know you've managed to figure it out.

As a side note, I recommend you download the Alpha7_1 version: it actually makes the speedup buttons look like speedup buttons and the menu button on the title screen actually says menu.

Right now, it's a bit late (nearly midnight!) to implement your suggestions, but rest assured, it's on my todo list: a comment at the end of my main.cpp file.

Code: Select all

/*TODO:
implement exfret's suggestions*/


As a side note, feel free to join the IRC channel. Yesterday was my last day of school, so I'm making the most of lack of school while I can by applying some... Slightly unhealthy sleep scheduals.
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