Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dev diary - Demo refining








Hello everyone, i know its not sunday, but i ve got one hour left before i ll have to go to work whitch is not enought to start working on something new, but its too much to do nothing. And thats why i would like to share the progress on Awaken.

I gathered some stats from the demo i released on sunday and feedback i can read from them gave me a lot of ideas what needs to be done, what could be done, and what players would appreciate.

First and most important finding was that most players will not read instructions, even if half of the main menu is covered with them. Thats why a little help window pops up now on the side of the screen every time you start new game and remains there for couple of first enemy waves.

Second finiding was unclear game hit/shield/autofire mechanics, that i consider biggest fault of demo release and its now fixed by added tutorial mission whitch can be accessed from main menu. I was considering to force player to do the tutorial before he could start a new game, but i dropped that idea as i dont like to force people to do what they dont want to.

Third improvement is adding some feel to handling of the ship. Before this adjustment, when you pressed movement control the ship began moving to desired direction by constant speed, when u released the key the ship stopped moving. Sure it worked and i was thinking i ll leave this as it is. However i was thinking about adding some momentum to the ship before and when friends started suggesting me to do so when i released the demo i have decided to give it a try.
And it feels great, giving the ship handling some feel and sense of weight. I ve been careful not to overdo this feature and when you press the control key it takes just 0.1 second to get to full speed in that direction and it takes same time to deacelerate. I was surprised how even that little was able to change so much about the game.

Fourth and one of the most important of major changes is the rework of the scoring system. In first release it worked quite simple. You killed, u got your score, u got some bonuses for combo kills. When you died 2.5K of score was deducted and u continued to play. Idea of the penalty was to reward skilled players with bigger score and credit earnings after the mission is done. And on the other side not to punish less skilled players so much and let them finish the mission if they are doing reasonable well.
However its unclear and now i see it was stupid. New system brings in score multiplier whitch grows over the time and gets reseted every time u take hit. The respawn after death is beign replaced by old fashioned lives system for now as i cant find anythink better for now.

There ll be a lot of little changes as well. Like darker background to make enemy bullets more contrasting. Difficulty tweaks, boosts of certaing things, nerfs of enemies, few graphics improvements... you know the ussual stuff you found in patches for every game;-)

The goal of this first patch is to tweak difficulty so more players would be able to get to the end of first mission and kill the first boss as right now on kongregate only 12 players of 350 been able to achieve this.Dont know how many of them really tried as im sure big portion of players quited the game right after start as they did not know how to start shooting(yeah, autofire will be now set to ON by default), but almost all of my friends testing the game reported difficuly issues so hopefuly tutorial and some ingame adjustments ll help to solve this situation.

Again, thanks for reading and see you by sunday by rerelease of the demo;-)

Tryzna

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