I launched the demo for Rainswept on 2 January, and the response has been much more positive than I could've expected! It's really encouraging that so many people have played and loved the game, and for that, thank you!
It's also been pretty wild (and I must admit, a bit nerve wracking) seeing Youtubers upload let's-play videos of the game. Seeing people play the game and react to its moments has been quite surreal, and encouraging.
It's also been very useful for me to watch and gather feedback. That, along with the feedback forms that players have submitted have allowed to me to identify problems with the demo, and potential problems with the full game. I plan to release the demo on Steam next, which will include a Mac build (that I will share here too) I'm hoping to have this done within a week. Some of the issues that'll be addressed in the updated demo are:
- Speech bubbles - As many of you have pointed out, sometimes it gets confusing to identify who the speaker of a line is. This especially happens when characters stand too close to each other. For the updated demo, I'll give each speaker type their own color. For the full version, the whole speech bubble will be recreated from scratch, with animations and comic-style arrows pointing to the speaker.
- Collision bugs - There are a few scenes where a player can walk off the scene and fall through the geometry. This will be fixed, along with a scene where the player is able to push Officer Blunt around due to buggy collision on her.
- Cramped objects - During the crime scene (interior) the observable objects are positioned too close to each other, making it difficult to interact with them. I'll also look into providing mouse controls and the ability to rebind keys if possible - whatever can solve this issue.
- Menu menu - The options screen will be fixed.
- Loading/ saving - I'll look into providing an option for manual save slots, rather than only auto saving every level
- Ability to skip dialogues - To avoid listening to long dialogues that you might have already heard.
- Making it clearer to the player that the market area can be skipped - This is a long, slow paced area, but it can be skipped by just talking to the Priest. This will be made clearer.
- Some inconsistencies in dialogues will be fixed, and the reaction to some of the choices players make during dialogue (arguing with the local police) will be made more interesting/ rewarding.
- Some players had issues with the UI, where the interact icons were tiny - almost invisible. This will be looked into.
These should be pretty quick to implement, after which I'll get back to making progress for the full game!
For the full game, you can expect some of these things to receive improvements:
- Improved visuals - Some of the colors don't work perfectly with each other, and this will be improved on. I'm also working on new lighting techniques, to give a better, softer "glow effect". The progress with this shall be shared here!
- Better characters - This is a part of improving visuals, but mainly this means more polished character animations, small improvements on art and detail and maybe more detailed eyes and multiple expressions - to replace the current blank stare.
- Gameplay - I will look to provide more opportunities to engage with the game in a more "traditional" manner. Which means a larger number of, and relatively more complex puzzles than were seen in the demo, and a couple of new mechanics such as a diary/ journal system. I'll also look to integrate the clues picked up during the story into the diary system, which can help the player keep a track of the facts related to the case and help them form their own conclusion before Detective Anderson himself!
- Agency over locations/ movement in the world - In the demo, the player gets carried from one location to the next for each scene in the story. For the full version, I'll look to provide the player with the option to choose from one of the few available scenes/ location for each day's investigation. This will require me to work out the plot to accommodate all choices of the order of locations visited, so the scope of this mechanic is still undecided.
- Expect to see more locations, and of course, the full story!
There's a lot more to come than this of course, but this is the core of what will be improved from what has been shown in the demo. There'll be regular updates here, and on my twitter: Twitter.com. And if you want, you can also wishlist the game on Steam as well: Store.steampowered.com
Again, thank you so much for playing the demo!