In this final iteration we were able to fix some final bugs, balance the game a little more, and add some more professional touches.
- Player Camera revamp: In the last iteration, the camera would jump back to the player before teleporting to the ball. This was jarring since the camera largely follows the ball when it is out. With the revamp, the camera does not jump back to the player and instead focuses on the area where the ball is and therefore the player after they teleport. There were also issues with the camera off-screening the player if the ball got too far, this has also been fixed.
- Some minor collider fixes so player does not get stuck on the ground in a few places.
- Foreground Objects More Obvious: we were still having issues with players not understanding what they could jump on. So the artist added a drop shadow to some of the more 3D looking platforms. Especially the counter in the kitchen looks like it is in front of the fridge, so players will no longer try to jump on it.
- Timer Puzzle Revamp: the timer puzzle now has a visual indication that the time is running out by flashing when it is about to disappear. The timer puzzle platforms also do not appear until the button is pressed.
- More Indication in Water: Players still did not realize what was going on in the kitchen with the water, so we added a particle system like sparks and a water sound effect to indicate the player was interacting with something.
- Boss Balancing: The boss was too difficult. So we made it drop less water and added knockback on the rush so it could not trap players against a wall. We also added a rolling ball section so players could not camp on top of the entrance to the boss area to kill the boss easily. We then decided to add a light activated timed platform the players can activate and stand on for a few seconds to get some hits in on the boss.
- Enemy Balance: The enemies in the game still felt too easy. So we revamped the blue jumping robot so they now jump towards the player. We also switched around the layout of the enemies to make them more of a threat to the player.
- Camera Tricks: The camera now does a full pan of the dark house in the beginning of the game, and a full pan of the house all lit up at the end of the game. This shows the player the scale of the area and shows them their goal/achievement. There is also some clever camera zoom in's during the two cut scenes of the game. This makes the cut scenes feel more purposeful.
- Lightning Cut Scene: Player gets struck by lightning and then discovers his powerful electric ball. This introduces the mechanic to the player right before they use it.
- The game now has a hidden timer that shows the overall time as well as the checkpoint splits for the play through. This is to give some sort of competition aspect to the game and is just generally fun.
- End Credits: After the game ends, there is a cute cut scene of the character walking across the screen while the credits roll.
- Music: Background music was added to the menu, game play, boss fight, and credits. 3/4 pieces were written specifically for this game.
The feature fixes and balancing were changed because of player feedback. It is important to playtest to expose bugs or confusing aspects of the game. It also exposed the imbalanced boss and the easy enemies. The professional changes were made in an effort to make our game feel better and be more enjoyable to play. Since this was the last iteration of the game, we wanted to make it as good as possible. It was also fun to add some more creative elements to the game.
Well, right now this is the final version of Lights Out! But who knows, there are definitely opportunities to continue to make the game better, or expand the game to more levels. Let us know what you think should happen!