Have you ever seen the show extreme makeover home edition? This week was basically like that show for our game. We invited Ty Pennington to our games studio so he could virtually smash our level designs with a comically large sledgehammer while we enthusiastically giggled. I’m just kidding of course. But this is how I personally felt when we rehauled our level designs, transitions, backgrounds, and other related theming. We created 6 distinct, imaginative levels themed around the elements. Fire, snow, water, forest, city, and desert. Maybe those are not all elements, but they guided our level design to what it has become. Along with those cosmetic changes, we updated how the characters walk, logic to handle a game ending tie, and a re-design of the upgrade screen so players can see how their stats are changing as they spend points.
We received some complaints about the final match. Specifically, there was a bug that allowed two players to die at the same time, ending in a draw, with no tiebreaker match. We added logic so that even if four players die at the same time, there will be a “sudden death” tie breaker match. We needed to update our designs. The assets we lazily threw in near the beginning of design were starting to get old fast, so we freshened up the designs of the levels and characters, adding lots of fun environmental elements.
Previously, the characters just glided along the stage. They were lifeless objects just getting from point a to point b. Imagine if cartoons did this, it would be awkward. We received a suggestion to model our characters walking after the characters in south park, where they waddle back and forth. After adding this change, the characters suddenly had a little more life and personality. I could suddenly imagine Kenny Boom waddling home to his ungrateful kids after a long day working in the salt mines.
What’s next for us? With the games expo only a week or so away, we are planning on making sure our game is tight. We want to test, test, test, and adjust adjust adjust as much as we can. There is no time for any big changes so the more we can tweak our game the better.