Nav: (Display/Hide) - Home - About the Author / this page

Current Projects: Americana Engine (Game Engine Development)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Aweful Visage

Google Search for this board: Did you mean: awful visage*

Known high scores for this board: 2.8m (no powers), 7m (all powers), 7.65m (all powers + monument)

Welcome to Aweful Visage, the board that results when that Hand Drawn Lava board dries up. Or not. Acutally, it's one of the first few boards when Zuma Blitz was first released.

In the works: I plan to maintain a small eBook (later released here) on all of the tips I put on this board, and explained in more detail, as well as a few other things not mentioned here. It will cover all versions of the game since December.

I intend to release the guide for no charge, though you may donate if you find the guide helpful.

In the meantime, it looks like they might re-use older boards for future weeks, so this will be my last post in regards to Zuma Blitz until a new unique board shows up.

TIP: Use the above image a guide for placing double gaps. When you reach hot frog, you should aim carefully to completely remove the middle layer of balls while not causing the 2nd layer to slide back.

Question of the Day: I like this new layout better. Do you? (Essentially widens the game screen, moves the fruit score value to top-right, moves chain to top-left, hot frog meter moved to just above the frog.)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Social Experiment

MCHS Class of 2011 graduates today. (It's the last class who I know students, since I was a senior and they were freshman) Rewind four years back, and we (Class of 2008) performed The Social Experiment. I was given the option to perform in this play, but decided not to...

(And then there's two social icons on the navigation bar... how many people do you think will actually click on them?)

Fun Fact: My high school likes to pull lots of parodies and spinoffs, however I got slightly docked for submitting a parody as a production idea to Mr. K. (Yes, that was an assignment). Oh, and I was supposed to post this vid up exactly four years after it happened, but it seemed that my timing was off a little.

EDIT: There used to be a video file, but after looking at the content, I've determined it wasn't fit for everybody to view it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Multiplier Powerup Study

Time to put some of my applied stats skills to work here.

Multiplier Study: Assuming you hit every single multiplier ball and no multiplier powerup is used, each one will roll out at the following times (in-game time, not the timer on the top-left). Note the timer may run out before you even get to multiplier 9, hence some of the later values's time results are skewed a bit.

Games tested: 29 - Leaping Lava
    Range           Median           #     Time
x2: 4.35 - 9.55s   (median:  7.10s)  (29)  0:07
x3: 13.0 - 27.6s   (median: 19.85s)  (29)  0:20
x4: 21.3 - 45.25s  (median: 32.00s)  (29)  0:32
x5: 31.7 - 64.75s  (median: 48.85s)  (29)  0:49
x6: 45.2 - 83.65s  (median: 65.30s)  (29)  1:05
x7: 58.5 - 100.95s (median: 81.00s)  (25)  1:21
x8: 72.9 - 106.15s (median: 89.83s)  (12)  1:29
x9: 91.5 - 101.35s (median: 97.75s)  (3)   1:38
xe: Not enough data  (0)
xe: Not enough data  (0)

Where 'xe' is other multiplier balls that pop up if you didn't hit other ones. 


  • In a 60 second game if you didn't collect timer powerups, best case = can get up to a x7 multiplier, worst case, up to x5.
  • Typically, five multiplier balls will show up on a regular no-power game, but there was one instance where eight showed up in a 1m40s game.
  • The first multiplier ball comes out within 4-10 seconds.
  • The higher the multiplier, the longer it takes on average before another multiplier comes out. (an x9 takes 20% longer than an x2)
  • Multipliers love to spawn near ball starting points.
  • On average, it takes 15 seconds between multiplier balls coming out and another. You can get lucky and wait around 5 seconds before another one comes out, or bad luck waiting around a half a minute. Theoretically, you can reach your x9 within 30 seconds with multi-multiplier, but the pseudorandom number generator that determines how long it takes for another ball to appear will make it very unlikely for that to happen.

Note: Something for me to think about via randomness of powerup appearances.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Leaping Lava

So this week's board is called Leaping Lava. It's not a new board, but instead, it's been introduced last December, and a flip version called Life's a Beach was made back in March as well. To avoid repetition, use that link for tips on this week's board.

In the meantime, I've updated my low level 2 million run with a new record: 60 -> 33. Additionally it uses the same board as that well known 2 mil video.

(Unrelated) Fun Fact: Waste from North America / Japan is forming a huge trash island the size of Texas, called The Pacific Trash Vortex. The person in charge of this page needs 500 likes to pass her class. (which ends in a few weeks)

10M Benchmarks: n/a (concentrate on curve clears) (dead by 3:18), 5:35 (Double Tap method - single gap), 4:32 (Double Gap Strat)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Triple Rollout?

Board with triple rollout? Don't mind if I do! :D

Note: Version 2. Top left curve needs optimizing as well as starting points.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wall of Memes

In the library today. Hope you're doing good on your finals. (It's finals week for most CSU people, but it's the 2nd week of summer school for me.)

Note: Not a viral picture. A better quality image (taken a day later) can be found here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Calamari Chaos

Calamari Chaos is the name of this week's board. A flip version of the Crossroads board, I start to conclude the levels are more towards showing off artistic style instead of creative ball path design / raising the level cap as well as putting perks from reaching mastery.

Speaking of design, The Long Goodbye is full of it. It's one of my friend's projects btw, I'll put a review of that here when it comes out.

Also, someone forgot to tell the frog that it's a trap...

TIP: Multipliers / Time powerups. (don't use fruit power due to hard to reach) That's it. (I think, for any board, time/multiplier/fruit powers are the only things you'll need for high scores until they introduce epic powers.)*

If you actually look at the image you notice a gap being made on the lower right side... the most effective way to get points. (My high score here with no powers is a bit over 1.2 million.)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ripple Effects

I managed to finish this semester up with a decent GPA (3.4). After this summer, I will be moving over to grad school.

Board Name: Splish Splash. The board resembles more like a bamboo textured water slide, with a new strat for double gaps. Yes, I am underleveled here.

TIP: People who just pursued mastery might go for cannon balls if multiplier / chrono balls are not available yet. Just make sure you create a hole in just the right place. Additionally, they can also be used to grab fruit in the corners, which is typically covered with two or three layers of balls.

Fun Fact: Post title is called what it is because 'Ripples' is its internal name, and how one of my personal blog backups and posts can change things. An example of my post to one of my friends (and my classmate) eventually propagates over to his tumblr at the time of writing. (link to post)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

STC Revisited

#112E: Visit a friend’s house, apartment, or dorm in another city. (Goal Completed - the overnight stay prior to this event)

Event: Spring Training Conference 2011 (STC 2011), North California

If you know what she means, you'll get the general idea of this workshop. *(She's actually referring to the strength of a club relative to its size).

Guess what the icebreaker was called.

I've always thought that the second time at an event is better compared to the first time. I was right for one. Likewise, I am strongly considering going for a committee position in CKI. After all, you only get to live a college experience once.

This year, most if not all of the workshops that I attended were helpful. Scrapbooking workshop was a bit short, but I was given justification on that. (Yes, I am planning to apply for historian for UOP CKI next year. There also might be a newer graphics related project on this blog coming soon.)

Question of the Day: I know quite a few people in my album of my two-day coverage, but only around 61% of them are listed as friends. Should I tag people who are not yet considered friends, or should I delay my album / video postings until I get more confirmed friends?

Results: Album tagging delayed by two days, total of 21 people who I've decided not to tag, 10 tagged with black text*, 20 people tagged normally.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Finally managed to make it to a million...

Finally managed to make it to a million points in Mastery Mode. At this level it's pretty difficult to get this score since you have to rely on no powers and no extra score from critical hits / increased point value of fruit (They're around ~60% of value compared to lvl 80).

In my opinion, I think that being a master just for 'bragging' rights doesn't feel like it's good enough. For most people, there needs to be a good incentive to reset, such as powers usable when you reach certain levels of mastery, because they will be at a huge disadvantage pointwise compared to those who don't reset. After all, if you're a master, shouldn't you have better rewards?

(I'll make my own power: Time Master. Adds 9 seconds per time ball, cost is 10,000 mojo, 12 hour cooldown between uses. Requires 2nd Degree Zuma Master.)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Welcome to the Boneyard

Remember the Aqua board posted a few months back? It looked like an iron frog board. Well this week's board is the real deal. Check back on the aqua board for a few other pointers for this board. And don't get carried away with the curve clears when using sun frog...

If you looked on the Zuma Blitz page (not the app itself) you will notice a free 12-game 24 hour x3 mojo potion for use on May 8 (Sunday).

This will be the last board that I will be on level 80 for a while. At this point I will mastery reset and distribute 20,000 mojo.

By the way I checked my site stats and surprisingly enough searches (99% of the time) lead to either the level up table, the tips page, or the scoring mechanics page. Just saying.

I'm actually looking for a few more unique boards rather than flipped repeats, so...

Question of the Day: If the devs introduce a board with triple rollouts, will you find it too hectic? (Example of such a board)

90 Degrees - 4 Million Score Run

Board: 90 Degree Nightmare (90 Degrees)
Score: 4,094,150 (multiplier / timelord), lvl 80
Specifics: 2,520,320 x45 gaps, 622,200 x7 fruit, extra time 1:28

Notes: In order to save mojo, I decided to ditch out the Epic Fruit powerup. Maybe I should've used it...

Sunday, May 1, 2011

100k Pageviews

The hitcounter on this blog (tip: it's on the very bottom) has finally reached 100,000, and the blog has essentially lost most of its original purpose.

As a new milestone has been reached, let me say a few things.

I remember last year when it was very difficult to get pageviews and attention towards the blog when this was first started, but it rose dramatically once I posted a few tips up. Last May, I was more or less excited about my blog hitting 1,000.

Now that I'm in the six digit hit count area, my posts get a lot more attention. Youtube videos that I feature (even to promote friends) have received a significant boost in the number of times people have clicked on it. It can be evident by going to the video and clicking on the graph button, which one my site is usually listed. One such example is Mrs. Langone Rap.

I believe my success towards this milestone was Zuma Blitz. I didn't initially expect it to be much of a success when I started it last December, but I was proven wrong when my hitcount doubled within a week. Following the level up table which I published because a person asked for it, my # of visitors rose dramatically. By the next month I noticed many people in discussion boards linking to my blog for some helpful info, as well as some sites featuring my tips and blog, such as and Hubpages. I proceeded to publish more on the topic, such as score mechanics and weekly tips. Nowadays I can't really find anything that has 'zuma blitz' as a keyword search and not land here within the first few pages of search results. (It's 90 percent of my 100k hit count, if you were wondering.)

Speaking of that, I was planning to move all of the Blitz material to a different site that I own (so that site could be more specialized, separating my personal blog with the gaming related blog), but it turns out that a lot more people are linking over here than expected.

This site, despite having lots of tips and stuff, wasn't originally very navigation friendly; this blog was more designed to host pictures of various things in life, not gaming material. I later learned what the audience was clicking on in order to navigate around the site and updated it appropriately to make it more user friendly to users. (At least I learned something out of my HCI class.)

It's good to be one of the few people to get this many hits and visitors. I learned what it feels like to run a high profile blog. Meanwhile, Brittany, who I mentored in the past, has* somewhere around 25k followers on tumblr.

Next Steps

  • With the success of this blog, I intend to expand a bit. First: Most of my background images that were previously on photobucket have now been publicly released and are available here.
  • Youtube / Deviantart will probably be up to showcase more of my stuff (The latter because I've picked up interest in Graphics Design / Art but haven't told a lot of my friends about this. This blog will feature some work.)
  • My senior project (and finals) are finally done, so I can concentrate more time on some program development.
  • I will continue Zuma Blitz related material on this blog until I can find a way to transition this to another of my sites.