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This is a brief overview of changes since alpha, why the decisions were made, and what we plan on improving.

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Beta Release Notes:

What's New:
This week we continued to iterate on the tutorial. Thankfully the alpha tutorial was much better recieved, so we improved on the existing model instead of creating a fully new one. Players now have the option to skip the tutorial and go straight to boss selection. Additionally, last week we found that no one wanted to face the easier boss, so this week we're forcing players to face the easier boss first if they feel like they need the tutorial. We also made visual improvements to the bosses to try and improve visibility. Lastly, we wanted to give the game more punch so we added sound effects.

Why:
With the momentumn from last week, we really wanted to get the tutorial feeling right. Our game takes a decent amount of skill, especially when facing Mars. As a result, we didn't want to go away from big obvious prompts that demand user attention. Instead we forced users to pay more attention, as instead of timing out everyone must press 'A' to continue. This stops people from talking through prompts like what happened last week in playtests, while also takes out the down time that players feel as they wait to regain control of their characters. We also wanted the game to be more replayable, and as a result made the tutorial optional. Lastly for the tutorial, we force players to face Pluto if they feel they need the tutorial. If players need the tutorial, it's highly unlikely that they are ready for Mars, so taking away the decision and forcing them to "warm up" should make the first boss more enjoyable, and also make Mars feel more balanced since he won't be everyone's first boss. We also wanted gameplay to feel better and more rewarding, so sound effects are a good was to do that. Additionally, the game felt bland and less interesting without it.

What's Coming:
For our polish build, we'll really want to focus on balance and better teaching ability usage. We hope to be able to use the playtesting feedback to get a lot of data on how people feel about the different abilities and their strengths. We can use this data not only to balance, but also see what people's perceptions of the abilities are on first playthrough and see if they line up with reality. We can also use the data to see how balanced the bosses really are. The team definitely has warped perceptions of the difficulty so we intend to use the playtesting feedback to make fair but challenging bosses. We also want to iterate on sound as we just implemented it and want to see people's reactions to it. I'm sure we'll also get a lot of feedback on the other aspects of the game, and I'm sure we'll iterate on that as well.

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