Post news RSS Milestone One Tomorrow

Milestone one is coming, tomorrow actually. Here's a little update on the game's progress.

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With milestone one coming tomorrow I figured it wouldn't hurt to make an update to our progress.

That, and I haven't legitimately written anything in a while... besides documents that is.We've had lots of "under-the-hood" progress this past week, as the audio's been prepped to be finally put in and our code's been optimized to run faster, with more objects in-game. With all of that being done, we've come across interesting issues.

We're having some design issues having to do with teaching the player how to jump. To anyone who hasn't made a platformer this sounds like a really, really stupid comment, but it's quite valid. It's a lot harder than you'd think to teach a player how to actually play the game. If you kill/punish them right away they'll either tough it out and learn your game, or give up and go to the next game on the list. Walking the line between proper teaching methods for a player is a tricky situation, and we think we've found a solution.

Most games will give the player some recovery options in their tutorial levels that doesn't kill/punish the player when they fail, but just gives them another chance without interrupting their play session. If you interrupt a play session with a load screen, and the player has a difficult time learning the mechanic they could see up to four or five loading screens before they get past the level, at which point they'll have given up or will be more likely to stop playing your game some time in the near future.

Our solution is to kill the player but not punish them. Giving the player a spawn point directly before the challenge lets them try upwards of ten times before they start getting frustrated, and through testing we've noticed it hasn't taken anyone more than five tries to learn our mechanic.

To increase difficulty and the punishment later in the game is simple, you just make the spawn points that much more scarce, and give them more challenges in between those spawn points. That being said, our game isn't exactly about giving the player a challenge as it is about giving them a fun experience, but it's nice to know where we stand when we decide to ramp up the difficulty and give the player something to struggle on.

Well, that's an update for you, a long one at that.

Hopefully you actually got through the whole thing, if not you'll be able to try what I'm talking about in the next few weeks as we plan to get out a demo by the end of the month. Keep an eye out for it around the 29th.-Kramer, out.

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