This week's changes/improvements:
- Added a better indication of who is in the lead. A crown now follows around the lead player.
- Fixed a bug with the scoreboard where player scores would sometimes disappear.
- Imported ship models from our collaborate artist.
- Fixed asteroid tails to look more natural.
- Modified ready up screen so players press start to ready up.
- Implemented fizzle shots so players no longer shake when they cannot fire.
- Lightened up all blue colored objects so they're easier to see.
- Players once again stretch when they are boosting.
- Updated the coin pickups to make them more clear.
- Implemented a mechanic where players can steal coins from the banks of other players
- When charging the laser, players receive a temporary shield that can be used to block laser shots.
- Created a higher resolution background with layers in preparation for parallax.
- Added camera movement that moves slightly, always positioned in the middle of the four players
As we progress closer to deployment and receive ample amounts of playtesting data, we're really looking to make the game feel more dynamic and less like a traditional arcade game. Current data from playtesting shows that players did not have an indication of who was in the lead. Players also complained about the mechanic where the ship shook when the player was unable to fire. This completely stopped the player movement, which was not a nice feeling for players. Our art has also been the same for each iteration we've submitted so far on the road to development and is currently very similar to traditional 80s pixel art. We've started collaborating with an EMU artist with the intention of redesigning the player ships and the asteroids, but he was only able to get us preliminary models of three ships for this release.
Further playtesting will result in additional tasks being added to the queue for next week, but there were a number of tasks we didn't get to this week that will be addressed in the upcoming deliverable. In the next iteration, we plan on tidying up the camera movement mechanic and making the background parallax more functional/apparent. We hope to receive updated designs for the ships and potentially new designs for the asteroids this week. We will iterate upon the game cutscenes to make them more useful to players (and less forgettable). We would like to incorporate images of controller buttons instead of using text to display controls to players, because we believe that will be more intuitive.