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Post news RSS Developing Growbot in light of play-testing feedback

I’ve recently completed a new set of bug fixes and changes based on the play-testing feedback I received from Level 1 and 2. One of the main problems raised was the Flower Arranger’s functionality. A number of people found it confusing to use, and the functionality of the two main buttons ‘Test’ and ‘Shield’ unclear. Another common problem raised was the clarity of the Captain’s puzzle. In this article I explain the steps I took to resolve these problems.

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Flower Arranger Functionality

I’ve recently completed a new set of bug fixes and changes based on the play-testing feedback I received from Level 1 and 2.

One of the main problems raised was the Flower Arranger’s functionality. A number of people found it confusing to use, and the functionality of the two main buttons ‘Test’ and ‘Shield’ unclear.

To resolve this I’ve changed the ‘Test’ button to ‘Create Shield Key’ and the ‘Shield’ button to ‘Playback Shield’. I’ve also added a new ‘?’ button which brings up a tutorial explaining what the buttons do and how/when to use them.

The Flower Arranger can be used in different modes, Default Mode and Protect Mode. To make it clear which mode the Flower Arranger is in I’ve replaced the ‘Flower Arranger’ title bar to read ‘Flower Arranger: Default Mode’ or ‘Flower Arranger: Protect Mode’ accordingly.

In Default Mode the player uses the Flower Arranger to create Shield Keys to unlock Shields. They do this by collecting a Shield’s sound in game and then using the Flower Arranger’s ‘Playback Shield’ button to play it back. The player then uses their flowers to try and match the Shield sound. The ‘Create Shield Key’ button is used to test whether or not a flower arrangement is successful.

An individual flower sound can be heard by right clicking on it. This should help avoid having to listen to too many arrangements.

When the player selects Protect Mode an orange panel will light up and an orange Shield will appear in the center of the Flower Arranger (in contrast to Security Shields which are red). The ‘Create Shield Key’ will change to ‘Create Shield’ and the ‘Playback Shield’ will become faint and disabled.

Another feature I’ve added is the ability to drag and drop flowers on top of each other to replace them. Before the player would have to click on a flower to remove it.

The gif above begins with the old version of the Flower Arranger (the pink bedroom background image) before cycling through the new Default Mode and Protect Mode buttons and tutorials.

Captain's Puzzle Example

Another common problem raised in recent play-testing feedback was the clarity of the Captain’s puzzle. In the Captain’s puzzle Nara is tasked with correctly reassembling the unconscious Captain’s internals. Just to quickly explain the diagram above, the black pieces are the Captain’s parts and the pink circles with red crosses on them are the spaces in which the parts fit.

Originally I was worried about the puzzle being too easy so I left the Captain’s body diagram simple. This meant that some of the parts visually fitted into multiple spaces. Some players found this confusing or frustrating to solve, and once solved some found it unfulfilling as it created a sense of luck rather than considered choice.

To tackle this I’ve added further details to the Captain’s body diagram so that the parts only fit visually into their correct spaces. I’m hoping this will make the puzzle more rewarding whilst not being too easy.

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