Today we'll share a few sneak peeks of Loowa's Alpha Build, which we tested with a few people from our target audience. As we've mentioned before, Loowa's game has been changing and evolving right from the start, and we needed to know if our ideas made as much sense in practice as they did on paper.
With this in mind, we created some concept tiles to give our audience an idea of what the art will be like in the actual game, and added some effects to the lines to make it easier for players to distinguish the wrong pieces from the right ones. We wanted to know our audience's opinion on the concept game art, as well as if they could easily move around the map and understand what they must do to complete the puzzles.
Despite its components of side-scrolling platformer, Loowa will be played entirely with the mouse on Windows and iOS desktop platforms, from horizontal character movement to selections. On video game consoles, inputs will be mapped to the respective gamepad.
We also tested the parallax effect with the concept game art, which can be seen below in the trees from the back layer.
We also added some special effects, like a vanishing effect in the puzzle pieces, for example when players choose the wrong piece.
We were happy to know that our testers were able to understand the fundamental parts of each puzzle, such as how many pieces each puzzle had and where to look for them, despite minor bugs and glitches.
Taking into account the feedback we received, we decided that we will discard the complex patterns on the trees, since they feel too sketchy and noisy. The backgrounds might also need more testing regarding colours as they don’t look very harmonious. The assets and tiles definitely require a lot more work and testing on the size, proportions and details.
Testing the Alpha Build gave us have a better perspective on what works and what doesn't, what can remain unchanged and what definitely needs to be altered. We gained precious insight into how our test audience sees and plays games and we're ready to apply that knowledge in the production of the game.