《Drifting : Weight of Feathers》- DCD School Games Brawl Event
Steam - Steam Page
Itch.IO - DCD School Games Brawl Event
IndieDB - DCD School Games Brawl Event
It's been almost 6 months since I last posted an article for my weekly update content, the reason being that since the project is nearing its development cycle, bug fixing and building new versions of the game occupied most of my weekend, which in turn, crowd out the time spent on creating weekly content; another reason is that, I've started attending small indie-dev events on weekends in hope to gain exposure and collect feedback. Attending these small events really helped hone the knowledge and skill for pre-planning and improvisation for attending the bigger ones - I feel more comfortable starting out something small and work my way up to the greater goal.
Before sharing the interesting findings I gathered that day, I like to introduce the event itself: DCD School Games Brawl is an event held by DCD (Taiwan Digital Media and Content Development Association) - a government-funded association - which is meant for college students or social freshmen (hence the "school" in its title), however, professional indie devs are welcomed as well. The idea is to gather a bunch of game devs and encourage them to bring their game for early test-play, collecting valuable insights and suggestions from their peers or from well-known dev teams and improve upon it. This is the kind of event I feel best suited for devs who have great ideas but needed someone to validate it or provide a second opinion.
(NOTE: I got the approval of the test-players to upload and link the videos into my weekly content; some areas of the video are blurred to protect personal information. Here is a BIG THANK YOU for all the playtesters that day, who are kind enough to help me out by playing through the tutorial level!!
(video_01: I shot the video with my crappy phone and scale up the resolution to hide the background. I apologize for hurting your eyes with this low-quality footage)
If you read my last blog post, I mentioned how placing the statue on either side of the wall has a 100% rate of success in teaching players how to throw sideward - now I have video footage to prove it! XD This particular playtester was one of the early ones who requested to playtest my game after the session began. I recorded his gameplay purely out of curiosity - whether the 100% success rate I witnessed last month was due to a small sample size or an actual improvement with my tutorial level.
It turns out the playtester (and all the others came after him) easily perform side throws (not twice but thrice, since he did a second throw before realizing he succeeded the first time XD) without my verbal assistance! If you watch the footage closely, you'll notice he kept forgetting he could easily stand on the platform and shoot from there instead of going forward and shoot while wall-running - for the record, both methods are valid, however, in order to save extra time from shooting while wall-running, it requires a higher skill level from players, which is not an easy task for people who tried out the game for the first time. He struggled a bit and eventually found out it's much easier for him to went back on the platform and shoot from there and proceeded forward.
I didn't assist him in anyways during that section, partly because I wanted to observe the result without bias; partly because, watching people play my game in their own way is kind of interesting, almost like watching toddlers learn how to walk for the first time, I always thought the way he kept struggling with the challenge has a certain cuteness in it, I definitely don't want to spoil the fun by telling him how to do it the "correct way". XD
(video_02: video_02 and video_03 footages were recorded from the same playtester)
(video_03: video_02 and video_03 footages were recorded from the same playtester)
The second and third footages came from the same playtester. I recorded his playthrough twice because he was one of the few playtesters who did pretty well from the start, however, after I told him I like to record his gameplay and upload it on youtube, he seemed to get a bit nervous and button mashing at times when he felt he was going to fall (I tried to calm him by telling him just relax and enjoy the game, but that didn't seem to help him in any way). Come to think about it, I should've secretly recorded his playthrough and asked for his permission to upload the video afterward. XD
Although the playthrough in both footages doesn't look as clean as his previous performance (I really really wish I have a video to show you how good this player really is!), he demonstrated some advanced technique in no more than 10 minutes after trying out the game for the FIRST TIME. In video_02 during 00:24~00:26, he performed a wall-throw (again, without my assistance in any way) to throw the sphere onto the statue. Wall-throw being one of the advanced techniques in-game requires a lot of practice from players for two reasons: firstly, players need to grab, aim and throw while constantly moving, these 3 sequential inputs need to be synchronized in order to make a successful throw; secondly, since the throw direction is based on camera forward vector, it is crucial for players to know the relative positions of the sphere (throw object) and the statue (target object) in 3D space to determine the direction of the throw, it's a challenge of the player's spatial awareness - something isn't quite as popular in traditional action games.
After his incredible wall-throwing performance, in video_02 during 00:27~00:36 he managed to wall-shoot consecutively almost without any effort - this is why I showed video_01 before showing video_02: One may think wall-shooting isn't as difficult as it seemed if they haven't watch video_01. The truth is, most people struggled with wall-shooting and couldn't seem to synchronize the input and aiming well enough. What this player did is really amazing and deserve honest praise from the creator of the game.
In video_03 he seemed to get even more nervous after a few failed attempts at platforming and I kind of worsen his condition by telling him what to do (frankly, I should've just shut up and allowed him to do his thing...but I just couldn't help it!). Despite all this, he managed to exploit the infinite energy feature I've added for the tutorial level and struggle to stay in mid-air after a few failed grab-stuns. He slowly, yet, steadily grab-stun toward the next platform, couldn't make the hook registered for the last jump towards the platform, however, managed to do a timely wall-dash to help him regain the momentum he needed to reach the platform! A series of truly amazing performance made by a person who played the game for the first time! (*･∀-)b
It's a pity I couldn't show more videos of these interesting playthroughs I've witnessed that day, however, I'm pretty sure as I kept attending these events, there bound to be plenty more amazing test-play videos coming up in the future!
I hope you found this article interesting and feel free to provide your thoughts in the comment section! Don't forget to wishlist the game on steam if you are interested in the gameplay!!
Have a relaxing weekend peko! ヽ( ･∀･)ﾉ