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Polish Update for Nonsense Studio's: The Magic Hat

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In the Polish Build, we made several changes based on feedback that we obtained from student play sessions in the Spark Incubator of Ann Arbor. We also began several changes based on the feedback we received from our instructors. We also made a trailer for the game! It can be viewed here:

The Magic Hat Trailer (EECS 494 Marketing Draft) - Indie DB

What's New

  • Added timer based scoring to the game, allowing players to to see their best run time for each level. Added based on player feedback.
  • Reordered stages so that the tutorial plays before the main levels. This should allow the players to get adjusted to the controls before unwillingly jumping into the boss levels.
  • Adjusted button in the BlazeSnake tutorial to be more visible.
  • Modified moving platform in the BlazeSnake boss level so that it now drags the player that's on it.
  • Adjusted the size of the castle walls so that players can more easily see the fireballs coming at them.
  • Made the disappearing platform more noticeable.
  • Added a reflective property to the Golem boss so that players realize it cannot be damaged. Also added a flashing effect to indicate invulnerability of the jaw.
  • Added an explosion effect to indicate that the Golem hands are defeated.
  • Added screenshake to the Golem fight to add more intensity to the gameplay, and better indicate to players when the Golem strikes.
  • Almost finished implementation of Final Boss fight (will solicit feedback from playtesters and instructors outside of the normal play sessions). Will not be in the polish build submission.


These changes were made in an effect to further polish our game. With the final deadline, p3 gold, approaching next week, the team needed to make necessary improvements to the boss levels. These improvements address player engagement with our content, and make the experiences with the Golem and BlazeSnake battles less frustrating for players. While the changes were not as large in scope when compared to our previous build, every detail matters.

At this stage, we only have enough time to perfect our boss battles, and perhaps finish our final boss level. Here is a current screenshot of it:

Screenshot 609

With the final boss in particular, some of our team members have put in significant time to perfecting, and we think players will love it. As of now, our current play is to finish the final boss, and solicit feedback from players who are not enrolled in EECS 494. This will give us a stronger gauge for whether or not this 3rd boss will be a success in the showcase. We will also continue to improve gameplay mechanics and enhance the visual appeal of each level as we receive feedback in our last play session at the Spark incubator (located in downtown Ann Arbor).

What's Next

We will continue to improve gameplay mechanics and enhance the visual appeal of each level according to feedback we receive from our peers and instructors this week. Some features mentioned by instructors in the project's beta grading, including a dynamic camera and fixing a tricky obstacle in the tutorial, are being worked on. We will also finish the final boss and play test it this week with players and instructors.

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