The gameplay as it stands right now has been going through a few rounds of testing. The testing phase should be over soon and work will continue.
For the testing of the composite, I gave the tester some tasks to complete to help aid me in improving the gameplay of Turnover.
The first task was to just right down any odd behavior or bugs that they encountered during their play test session. This was to inform me if anything went wrong or if something didn’t work.
The second task was for the tester to complete a questionnaire about the game. The task was given after a number of gameplay sessions where some improvements were implemented and the tester had a little time to digest the game. The Q&A offered some of the following questions.
- Do the enemies do what you expected them to do? Did they surprise you in any way?
- Is there a particular gameplay element that dominates everything else? If so, is this element too fatiguing?
- Will certain aspects of the game warrant a small tutorial to bring players up to speed?
- What do you think is the biggest strength of the game right now? Imagine you were a trickster, how would you destroy it?
The third task was for the tester to record their play sessions. Unequivocally, this turned out to be the single most important point of feedback that I have obtained so far. Watching someone screw up, retry different things, get stuck, and ultimately triumph in a way I didn’t think of was incredibly rewarding.
Using all of this feedback, I have made some important steps towards finalizing the gameplay and overall “feel” of Turnover.
For the Security Servers, I implemented designation lines to show what objects are controlled by the individual servers. These show up when the player is in the vicinity of one of the servers. This is to eliminate confusion about what shuts down what.
I tweaked various parts of the Security Cameras. First off, there is a little light that lets you know the camera has spotted you (just for show).
I also added a factor you see in nearly ever stealth game: the blind spot under the camera.
For Sentinels, they now show an icon briefly to let you know if you’ve been seen or you have been spotted. This is just an additional hint to the player.
I have also spent some time working on the save system. I have officially now ditched all instances of XML and replaced them .json. Now, I only need one library for all of my text-based data formats. Right now, the game autosaves on completion of a floor. I’ll be revisiting this entire system sometime in the future, I’m sure.
The testing for the composite is essentially finished. The game story and flow documents are complete. I have some enemies and scenarios brainstormed. So now, I guess all that there is left to do is move on to the meat of development.
Hopefully soon, I’m going to try to get a video up of the enemies and what they do. All of the screens I show are just in the first few levels of the game, so some new art will show up as I make more progress.
In so many words, things are moving along nicely!
I'd really like to see a new video, either an interesting one with a tester playing or how you complete objectives.
I still have some low-res video of the play session with a tester. I should splice something together. Making a new video of some sort is definitely on my radar.