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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: A MAZE exhibition - what went wrong, what went right

About Legends of Pixelia with 0 comments by SimaGames on Apr 26th, 2015

Yesterday (April 25th) was the last day of the international independent videogames festival A MAZE and I had the opportunity to showcase my game at the exhibition (thank you, Indie Arena!). I had some experience in presenting games on smaller local events, but the A MAZE was the first real conference where I had the chance to show my game to a big international audience. If you are interested in my thoughts on what went wrong and what went right during the exhibition, read on!

a-maze lop 2

What went wrong

1. Color coding on a black gamepad
The game that I showcased (Legends of Pixelia) supports local multiplayer by pugging in multiple gamepads. I thought that it would be a cool idea to bring the three gamepads that I own, so that multiple visitors could play at the same time. Well, the idea did work to some extend, but I totally forgot that there are people outside who don't know the XInput buttons by heart. That wouldn't be a main problem, but Legends of Pixelia heavily depends on color coded objects and two of my gamepads were pitch black with black buttons: Fail...
Also, there was one exhibition visitor that was color-blind. To my surprise, he said that he was able to differentiate the colors. Nice!

2. The tutorial fails
The point of a tutorial is to explain people that have no idea about the game, how to play it. Making a really good tutorial is a difficult task. I observed some players play the tutorial and talked to them later and we came to a conclusion: The tutorial fails, sad but true.

About 50% of the players had no idea what to do in the room on the screenshot below:


I'm a logical thinking programmer and I guess some of the tutorial rooms were simply impossible to understand for normal people. There were lots of helpful artists and designers at the A MAZE that had some really good ideas of how to redesign the tutorial, so I have an idea what to do next.

3. There is always one bug left...
No matter how much you try to fix bugs before a presentation, there is always one bug left. In my case, there was a special pattern of players leaving and joining the game, that resulted in a bug preventing players from starting a new game. I had to restart the game multiple times during the first hour of the exhibition, until I figured out how to avoid it...

What went right

1. High interest
There were some really great games at the A MAZE this year. Although there were cool projects like Face It!, Line Wobbler and Crawl (just to name a few) in the same room, players were very interested in playing Legends of Pixelia. During the five hours of the exhibition, the three gamepads were in use most of the time. I'm really glad that so many people enjoyed playing Legends of Pixelia yesterday. :-)

a-maze lop 1

2. Dedicated A MAZE build
I decided to create a presentation version of Legends of Pixelia to better match the requirements of a game for an exhibition. Time consuming non-ingame things like choosing a hero class and typing your hero's name have been removed and I added a quick join feature that allowed players to join others who are already ingame. This way, players had more time playing the game itself instead of reading through multiple menus to be able to start a session. Although the presentation version isn't perfect yet (I mentioned a bug ealier), it was a good idea to create a dedicated presentation version.

3. Feedback
It's interesting to talk about your game with players who have a totally different background in gaming. To name a few, there were casual players, console gamers, developers and designers at the A MAZE -- all of them gave feedback and most of them had ideas of how to improve the game. I made a giant list of useful comments from the testers yesterday evening and I'm gonna work my way through it during the next weeks. Thanks to everyone that played Legends of Pixelia at the A MAZE, you were great!

31,5 d2 coop i

Oh, you've made it through the whole article? Nice! Want to test the demo featuring the tutorial I mentioned earlier? Check out the downloads section here or visit the itch.io page to buy the full game.


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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 176)
Mephasto Jun 5 2014, 5:21am says:

Check out our new Gameplay video for Hive! The game is created using Unity engine.


+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest Jun 5 2014, 12:08am buried:

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MoruganKodi Mar 25 2015, 6:22pm replied:

Unity is pretty damned easy to learn, actually. And there's a hella lot of sample assets and templates in the asset store (which are free, of course).

UnityAnswers is also a great resource for finding out anything - just about.

+1 vote     reply to comment
aaro4130 Aug 2 2014, 12:33pm replied:

I learned it in a week. You just have to not use tutorials and say "I learned this by downloading and installing a tutorial, then making an EXE".

+4 votes     reply to comment
Guest Jun 23 2014, 1:42pm replied:

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OggMan Jun 3 2014, 10:50pm says:

yay lets make a game that can be hacked by a child...

+2 votes     reply to comment
aaro4130 Aug 2 2014, 12:32pm replied:

I'd gladly pay $750 for it. I've made a game on Unity (on my profile if you want to check it out). Programmed, made external files, etc. One week for the first release for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Also with my game unless you find the values of the velocity modifiers of the rigidbody, you can't change vehicle speeds. I don't see how you say it can be hacked by a child.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Guest Aug 11 2014, 6:12pm replied:

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Guest Apr 22 2014, 2:08pm says:

So hyped for Unity 5!

+2 votes     reply to comment
115spt2 May 17 2014, 8:33pm replied:

UMmm unity 5 will cost 750$ for basic version because unity are losing alot of money so from now on unity basic will be 750$

+1 vote     reply to comment
aaro4130 Aug 2 2014, 12:35pm replied:

$750 to get a full license to produce as many games as you want without restriciton. With such a good engine, and they don't require you to even say it's made with Unity. The horror!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Goatfatdoc Jun 1 2014, 2:17pm replied:

Unity is overpriced. Unless that is the game-making pack thing.
Still thats overpriced anyway 750$??

+2 votes     reply to comment
DonBre Jun 5 2014, 4:18pm replied:

750$ is truly a huge amount of money ..i guess it has to be a really good product.. still its overpriced

+1 vote     reply to comment
Stepper321 Jun 16 2014, 8:25am replied:

Overpriced? Are you guys idiots? You can sell your game for MORE THAN $100.000 with the free version, thats plenty to buy a license. $750 is really not a huge amount of money for an engine. I think only people know how businesses works know why this is not overpriced. Unity was started by a small team for Mac OS X lots of years ago, they expanded and expanded. Unity 3 was really, really popular. They made a game engine, with A LOT of features, for you to use. The free version even has plenty to use.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Guest Jul 29 2014, 5:23am replied:

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cristaloleg Jun 24 2014, 5:18am replied:

gold words

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Highest Rated (6 agree) 7/10

The advantages of Unity are: +You can build for nearly all major plattforms +Easy to learn +Great assets pipeline, which supports most 3D packages +Great and helpful community and hundreds of useful tutorials +Good documentation +A big fund as backbone. So this engine will be further developed and getting better +one of the most optimized mobile engines So why I give only 7 out of 10? Well, Unity has unfortunately some really weak points: -Basic version is free. But if you serious about game development…

Sep 21 2011, 4:07am by dongiboy2000

Lowest Rated (5 agree) 1/10

Terrible engine.

Jun 9 2013, 6:11pm by HobbyPsychopath


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