You are lost. Alone. Searching for yourself. You don't see far. In fact, you see nothing at all. But you hear things... drops; water flowing; rocks falling, rolling... and a bell. Souvenirs is a 2D platformer where you don't see the environment directly. You have to use sounds to get a glimpse of your surroundings.
In the last news I talked about the difficulty of getting feedback and gave you alpha build of the game hoping that I would get more feedback. And It worked. Not as well as I hoped but still there was an improvement. About 200 persons downloaded the game (most of them from my web site which I didn't expected) and about 15 gave some feedback. I also had other people testing in front of me and got the feedback from the IndieCade jury.
Common things that came out are :
- it's not interesting to throw rocks all the time to see the environment. It's really hard to make a "mental map";
- there is not a lot of things making the game interesting, you get bored pretty quickly. The "story" isn't clear;
- the sound design needs a lot of work;
- the game doesn't give enough feedback to the player on what's happening;
Most peoples like the concept of the game but feel that the execution could be improved a lot. Well I'll try to do that.
The first step I did was to make the player clock "tics" bigger, letting him see a little further around him. Then I had the idea to have an outline on the ground, revealing the environment layout without showing it directly. That's the small white line on the ground or walls in the video (you'll see better if you download and test by yourself). While making that effect a bug made the "sound wave" visible under certain conditions. It turned out that it gives additional informations to the player and make sounds more visible. I tweaked it a little and it gives you the final effect you see in the video. If you try the new build, in the options there are 2 settings to tweak those effects : lineEffectForce and waveEffectForce; you can disable or tweak each effect. Let me know what you think of those effects.
You can also now manage the throw force when you play with a pad if you turn the option on, and there are two slider to tweak that too : Stick sensitivity to throw a rock (how fast you move the stick controls the force) and Stick threshold to throw a rock (at which inclination the stick must be to throw a rock). Once again feedback is welcome.
On another note I'm looking for a sound designer for the game (not paid). If you are interested contact me.
If anybody tests the Mac version I would appreciate if you could just tell me if it works at all (as I have no way to test it my self).
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