Hello and Happy New Year! Over the holiday period I finished off level 2 of Growbot and added an introductory sequence to the game:
This should help players gain a little context before they begin playing.
Level 2 takes place within a garden greenhouse environment which should hopefully offer a nice contrast to the living quarters of level 1. The puzzles on this level are more complex and include repairing machines crucial to the health and maintenance of the environment. Puzzles can be solved out of order to help support a more personal approach to exploration. There are new characters to meet, mysteries to unravel, and a richer understanding of the narrative to be gained. Brainapilla can be used by dragging and dropping her onto objects to grow knowledge of the world. I've added a discreet 'bouncing' action to the Brainapilla icon within the inventory, which activates whenever the player interacts with an object she has something to say about.
Here's a cutscene from level 2:
The game now has a loading screen and a working save and load function, which can be accessed via the main menu or via the escape button. I still need to add an autosave function and will do this after I've completed level 3. After the first round of playtesting, which was super useful I've made some changes to level 1, taking into account the feedback I received. My next steps are:
- To create the Growbot Guidebook which unlocks with new factual and narrative information as the player progresses through the game.
- Gather the responses from the new playtest and make any necessary changes before moving on to the third level.
- Create a 'how to' development video illustrating how the Flower Arranger works, as I think it could be interesting to show how coding logic is represented in Adventure Creator.
- Create and build level 3 which takes place under water.
Level 3 will feature a coral reef, a more advanced Starbelly Hologram, Hologhouls and an opportunity to get closer to the elusive chief of security. Here are a few goals I aim to keep in mind as I develop level 3:
- When building puzzles make them relevant and meaningful to the world. They should progress the game and enrich the narrative.
- Make sure enduring inventory items, such as the Flower Arranger, Holotech, Brainapilla and the Growbot Guidebook develop in terms of their function as the game progresses. They should have continuing purpose and be useful throughout the game.
- With each level the player's understanding of the narrative and sense of purpose within the game should grow.
But before that: I now have a new PC and Mac build ready to be tested and I would love your feedback if you have the time. Please find links to the test builds below. The best way to submit feedback is via this form, but any feedback is greatly appreciated!
The game has been built to an aspect ratio of 16:9 and a resolution of 1920 x 1080 on PC and a resolution of 1366 x 768 on a MacBook Air, but it should also work at other resolutions.
To install the game please follow the links below and extract the files to your hard drive. On Mac, simply double-click the extracted file to run the game. On PC, double-click the .exe file. If you have any problems please let me know.
That's all for now. Thank you for your time :)