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Post news RSS Lights Out! all polished up

This is our 7th iteration of the Lights Out! game. Take a look at this article for what changes we have made since the Beta release and why.

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What's New?

Mechanical and Scene Changes:

  • Enemies are more difficult: The robot enemies move in a more random pattern, the TV enemies move much faster, and the Blender enemy shoots faster
  • Boss fight upgrades: The boss now has a health bar. The room has no platforms or areas where the player can camp out and just shoot the boss. The boss has a light source. The boss only drops two gears instead of all three.
  • Electricity ball indicators: The power bar for the character is now larger and in the UI. It is segmented instead of gradual so the player can more easily tell what actions take what amount of power. The ball also turns red if the player is not able to teleport to it because they do not have enough power. (this is also what happens when the player is in water)
  • New Puzzles: There is a new timed puzzle in the hallway. Players press a button, a gear appears and a timer starts. Players must get to the gear before the time runs out. There is also a second more challenging wall light puzzle in the basement.
  • Mechanics Upgrades: Players can now use the left trigger to teleport so they no longer have to take their thumb off of the right stick. We also got rid of the B to return the ball mechanic as it was unnecessary and confusing to players.
  • Bug Fixes: We tinkered with the light source on the character to get rid of a thin black line that sometimes appeared under the character. Gears in the gear panels no longer make the gear collection sound. Fixed some collider catching issues. Fixed the pan camera to boss being triggered by the ball or from colliding with the side of a platform.

Theme Upgrades:

  • Robot enemy upgrades: Robots now look more like toys (intended look). Robots also have walking or jumping animations.
  • Falling kitchen knives now have more idle animations so they don't look like they spawn out of nowhere.
  • Character animations: character now has a series of facial expressions used for collecting gears, defeating enemies, and getting damaged.
  • The wall light puzzle is now properly themed so players recognize the puzzle more. The lights are connected to a more mechanical looking door. This make it look like a circuit so players will understand the lights are connected with the door. The lights also glow green instead of yellow to be more distinctive.
  • Professionalism elements:
    • Gears zoom across the screen from the collection point into the UI where they are stored
    • Particle effects for teleportation
    • Scene transitions featuring a negative space light bulb and a rotating "loading" light bulb.

What's the Motivation?

Most of the motivation behind these changes came from playtesting our game with a lot of people across a wide variety of skill sets. We also wanted to add some elements to our game that made it look more polished. We noticed that there were a lot of changes we could make to make they player flow through the game better, but also feel appropriately challenged. Things like a better power bar, more animations, and better indicators for puzzles all make the player have a better experience. Boss upgrades and enemy revamps make the game a little more challenging and thus rewarding for the player. Theme updates and professionalism make the game feel better overall, which is good for everyone!

What's Next?

The next iteration of this game will be the last. We hope to get feedback on the changes we have made and keep improving the player experience. There are always more professional improvements to be made a as well.

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