Turnover’s first internal round of testing is finished. The test yielded 5 hours of recorded footage, 80+ screenshots, and 3 pages of feedback notes. Not too bad at all, actually. Up to that point, each level had already been tested individually as they were created, and other elements were spot tested when finished. So, most of the issues pertained to the overall game play elements, as well as level order and difficulty.
So, what were the major results of the test?
- Every level was touched on in one way or another, but 5 levels had major concerns that were addressed. 1 was too small, another was too easy, a third was too long and difficult. Two remaining levels were revamped and swapped around. This was the bulk of the feedback work.
- All cutscenes were retimed to give more time to read the text. Some lines were rewritten for clarity, some new sections were added.
- Changes to how enemies react in the world. Less “look snap” and more “turn to” look. Enemies are more reactive to the environment fixing a number of bugs related to how enemies are alerted.
- New features were implemented concerning use of camera. Servers can be previewed forward to see what security pieces they control. Also, server lines are coded yellow if their activation alerts enemies.
- Some new art effects, such as liquids leaving footsteps behind.
- Tweaks to player base variables, like stamina and perk rewards.
- Fixes to many drawing issues with the minimap. Also, NPC light has been replaced with a stand-out effect so the player can track NPCs better.
Let me detail some of the results.
Security Server Preview
Security Servers now have a preview look ahead, where if you press a key at a server, the camera will pan and show you all of the security systems attached to that server. The pan can be canceled and brought back. On top of that, if one of the connection lines are yellow, it means that disabling the server will trigger an alert, causing enemies to come running.
This should remove frustration and unnecessary guess work when it comes to servers and what they control.
Previously, all NPCs and enemies had a light that emitted from them. This was to help the characters pop out from the world. I was never too found of the round light and was looking to replace it.
In the screenshot above, you can see that the light has been replaced with an outline, which I think its much more visually pleasing. Red outlines indicate an enemy, and green outlines indicate a friendly, as shown with the Worker the Sentinel respectively.
The player’s white light above will eventually be replaced as well.
I added an effect where liquids cause footsteps. Simple, but neat. It’s sometimes easy to overlook little details. When I start the next art pass, I’ll be looking into adding more effects like this, as long as they are unobtrusive and feel right.
As usual, here are some important changes to Turnover since the last progress report. Most of these are the result of the internal test.
- Tweaked some enemy reaction times.
- Fixed level fade in not working in some levels.
- Sentinels make a noise when they fall out of alert, to let the player know they stopped looking.
- Fireman has a new malfunction animation, sound, and effect.
- Fixed danger elements (fire, extinguisher spray) not correctly putting “fear” into enemies.
- Added a few more frames to most death animations.
- Opening camera now previews “points of interest” to the player before level begins.
- Fire Extinguisher ammo indicator now uses a green - yellow - red scale.
- Enemy blood pools are now noise makers that splash when stepped on.