We’re continuing to improve the game ahead of its steam release, and this week we’ve made another improvement which we think fits the ‘medical’ feel of the game really well. We’ve changed the way scanner errors are generated.
Scanner errors are meaningless graph points that do nothing but clutter up your display, making it harder to diagnose patients correctly. In the current version, these are generated randomly as the player scans.
A bad graph with lots of errors!
We weren’t happy about this, and neither were some of our players. They were right - having errors randomly appear mean the player has nothing to get good at! However they scan, errors will still appear. That makes things boring.
After all, this is a medical game, so players should feel like they’re operating some sensitive medical machinery, as real doctors might. If they don’t operate it correctly, that’s when the errors will appear. Did you ever play that kind-of board game operation? It required steady hands – exactly the sort of feel we want to capture!
The game Operation! Image credit: genius.com
So we’ve implemented a ‘speed check’ feature that checks how fast the player is moving the mouse (and therefore the scanner). If they’re moving it too quickly, an error is generated.
This new feature is accompanied by a cool visual effect – when you generate an error, the scanner reticule will vibrate quickly. No beating around the bush, this feature was inspired by Vlambeer’s ‘screen shake’ signature effect. Thanks guys! (This also conforms to the other visual feedback the scanner gives to players for things like cooldown between scans).
The error ‘wiggle’ shows you’ve moved the mouse too quickly
We have some safeguards in place so not too many errors will be generated at once. The system itself is working really well after a bit of play-testing, and really adds to the feeling that you’re a doctor operating some high-tech machinery. We still have some more testing to do, but we’re confident this feature will help enhance the game overall.