We just wrapped up another play test, this one of epic proportion. This post is a progress update, but also some more generally applicable thoughts on how to best introduce new play mechanics and, in particular, core gameplay loop-altering abilities.
We just wrapped up our December sprint and playtest. We’ll probably have another before January! Things that have changed since the October playtest…
What’s changed since the last playtest:
- An entire new zone of levels
- Complete rebalance of loot distribution
- Level loading and unloading logic, which didn’t exist at all before
- Total rework of enemy AI
- Countless UI and code improvements
- Loads more secret areas
- Very significant changes to the early-game “mechanic-learning” experience
And we did all that with plenty of time to spare, I promise. It probably won’t all burn down.
This month we’re working on:
- Generating more found-story content
- Encounter balance in the early stages
- Substantial updates to turret intelligence, including the capacity to defend themselves by targeting incoming spells
- Ironing out the kinks in a new stage added last month
- Scheduling playtesters for the end of this sprint, which is scheduled Nov 19
A quick look at all we’ve been up to in the year of surprises.
Work, unlike blog posts, has not ceased. While I juggle my day job, development, and existential horror, Reinan is a wizard who has mastered the “doesn’t sleep” potion recipe so, due mostly to his eldritch efforts, we have accomplished some wonderful things.
Stroll past the roll for a list of what’s online, fully functional and playable, with pictures!
We’ve been in a cycle of prototype – play test – bug hunt which any designer knows well, for it is the circle of life. It moves us all. Through despair, and hope, on the path unwinding. Or was that unending? Anyway here’s my illustration of the cycle of unnatural selection:Continue reading
A month has gone by since we started our new prototype. Reinan had a little break to go visit family over memorial day weekend. I spent the time gaffing for a small but very cool independent film. Now we’re back in, and we’ve chosen to continue prototyping our new platforming mind-bender, working title: Wizard’s Tower. The concept is good, but there are details that need to be attended to before we’re confident it will actually sell.Continue reading
There are too many distractions in life, but for everything else, there’s coffee.
Two weeks into prototyping a new concept: Procedural moving wizard’s tower becomes platforming mind-bender. Playtest going strong – one of the play-testers unscripted remarks, speaking to me while playing: “I hate this so much. No, go away. I must win it.”Continue reading
Friction is fractious. It’s a bear to work with, but you’ve gotta do it if you want physics to look right. I’ve had to do some annoying busybody work to deduce proper values, so I’m sharing those values and my process to arrive at them in the hopes of saving somebody else some time.