After getting into our second week of early access, we have identified a few major flaws in our game, for example, tower system being unclear, latency issue, slow response from key input etc.
Currently, we are shifting our focus to tackle these problems instead of content creation. We would like to give players a better first-time experience than a re-playability feature. Following things are what we are working on right now.
1) Client-side prediction
Currently, the response time for pressing jump or wasd is slow, and it makes it even worse when latency is high. The uneasy of movement is due to the lack of the "client-side prediction" implemented in our system. Our system is currently depending on position synchronization to issue actions; therefore, there will be a big delay between input and output. To solve this, we have to implement client side prediction which improves the experience of users. We anticipate this system takes around 2 to 3 days to develop and around a week to debug it before it is live.
This photo shows the position of the client side (green) and server side (red). We need to deal with the synchronization and authorization system.
2) Tower re-work and upgrade
Firstly, our towers function is unclear. Secondly, our towers are boring. We have identified this problem and discussed it with our team. There are net-launcher and cannoneer, but users do not recognize or understand their function without a very detailed manual, but this is against our face-pace, no resource management playstyle. Therefore, we will be modifying most of the defense units to something easier to understand, something like blockade where users can easily understand their function.
Another issue is towing being too boring and without characteristics. We know that some players want to focus on tower placement and enjoy the beauty of defense arrangement. Therefore, we are working on a tower upgrade system which players will pick up spirit orbs and feed it to the towers. After reaching a certain level, it can evolve into different units.
3) Smaller maps
One of our flaws is focusing on co-op experience instead of focusing solo gameplay. When we launch during early access, we only contain 4-player maps which are too large for the single-player experience. We saw a few players complaining about picking spirit orbs being tedious. We have already taken immediate measure to develop a 1-2 player map (Dark Alley) in 2 days to compensate this flaw. A smaller map gives players a better experience and easier for players to handle. Therefore, more smaller maps will be developed to enhance solo player's experience.