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Updates based on recent play testing feedback. Many mechanical tweaks and a few new features added to the game.

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Whats New?

Mechanical tweaks:

  • Gear door indication. The panels for the gear doors now show red indentations to show you need gears. If the player stands in front of the panel without the number of gears needed, the panel flashes a bright red color. This will also indicate to the player they need to collect the correct number of gears.
  • Disable ball mechanic before you learn how to use it. This just ensures players do not become confused by the ball/teleport before they are instructed about how to use it.
  • Camera refactor. Camera better follows player and does not zoom out so much.
  • Ball returns sooner. The teleportation ball now has a range as well as a time constraint on how long it can be out. The ball starts to dim and shrink in size before disappearing when it has either gone too far or been out for too long.
  • Slight teleportation juice. Character slightly shrinks and grows when teleporting. This gives the game a little bit of juice but also makes it so players can no longer clip out of walls above them by teleporting too close to them. Also to deal with the clipping issue, the player dies/resets to a checkpoint when they fall below the bottom of the stage at any time.
  • Enemy updates. The final boss shoots even more water to disrupt the players use of the ball to defeat it. It also drops three gears when it dies so the player must defeat the boss to beat the game. The blender shot has a delay on the first shot so players see the blender before they are shot by it.
  • Added dedicated death and win sequences instead of jarring resets.
  • Juicy camera pan for boss. Camera pans down to boss and back up so player does not blindly jump into the boss below.
  • Made platforms/intractable items more distinct so players would not be as confused as to what they could and could not jump on.

Added Content

  • Added a power bar. The two actions that take up power are throwing the ball and teleportation. Throwing the ball takes 10% power and teleportation takes 40%. This power bar was also necessary so that players understood they have no power when standing in water and thus cannot throw the energy ball much less teleport to it.
  • New puzzle. In the living room there is a new puzzle to get to the gear. The player is able to light up some lights on the wall by throwing the ball at them. The lights turn off after a few seconds though. If the player can get all of the lights on at once, the door to the gear will open.

Aesthetic tweaks

  • Added a particle system so it looks like it is raining outside the house.
  • Added background to outside area of the game so it feels like the game has more lore.
  • Blender and blender shot sprites to fit with the level aesthetics.
  • New less confusing door sprite.
  • Laundry ball sprite for the boss shot, less confusing than a lightning bolt.
  • Added more water to the floor of the kitchen sprite so it is more obvious that there is water on the floor of the room.
  • Added more sound effects.

What's the Motivation?

The motivation for this iteration was mostly from player and instructor feedback. The feedback exposed weaknesses in design, bugs, and new ideas for our game.

The biggest weakness was player confusion. While most players seemed to have fun with the core mechanic, they often were confused about where they were supposed to be going. The game is supposed to have an element of exploration, players should not feel like they are missing something. This was the biggest reason for a lot of the mechanical and aesthetic tweaks. Making the tutorial more contained, having more indication for the gear doors, juice, and the camera/ball refactor all went into making the game feel better to a new player. Creating new and better sprites gives more indication for the player. The biggest addition to cope with this feedback was a power bar. Players would get confused about when they could teleport since there was no indication of a cool down. Also players could think the game had broken when they could not fire while in the water, when in fact it was just because the power goes all the way down when the player is in the water. We hope the power bar will lift a lot of this confusion.

The main bug exposed was the ability to clip through the ceiling if teleportation right below it. We were able to fix this pretty quickly and easily which was slightly frustrating as if we had known about it before the deadline we could have fixed it.

We also got a lot of feedback that the game mechanic was underutilized, so we added a new puzzle to the game.

Whats Next?

Our next iteration will be to polish the game and make any more tweaks based on new player feedback. Polish will involve adding a lot of juice to the game to make it feel more professional and fun to play.

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