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Changes for this week, including a tutorial, control changes, new enemies, and more!!!

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This Week:

We made a lot of changes this week!

The biggest change was adding a tutorial to the game!

We also added more types of enemies to spawn in the middle of the map (around the campfire). There are now bats (that fly in the air and swoop down to attack players) and gold enemies that drop wood when you kill them. We also completely changed the enemy spawning system so we can track how well players are doing and spawn different sizes / types of waves based on this information.

We also made some changes to the controls to make combat more interesting. Last week, we made it so the torch (that you use to attack enemies) always faces the direction of the left control stick (the same as character movement). This week, we adding the option of using the right control stick to orient the torch while using the left stick to move. There's a lot more feedback for hitting enemies and swinging your torch now that makes it feel really good to attack things. We also simplified the controls a bit by making the characters put wood into the campfire automatically. You used to have to press a button to do this, but now wood is automatically taken from you if you're near the fire and the fire isn't at full health.

There were other smaller changes as well based on the feedback we got last week.

Motivation for Changes:

We added the tutorial because during playtesting, we found that the objective of the game was unclear to many people. We decided to make a short tutorial to go over the basic objectives of the game, so everyone playing is on the same page as soon as the timer starts.

We got some comments during playtesting that staying in the middle of the map to protect the campfire wasn't very fun compared to exploring. We decided to add more types of enemies and make combat more interesting to make protecting the fire more fun. The gold enemies that drop wood were also added to give players that protect the fire a feeling that they're not completely helpless and can contribute to their team's survival as well. We also made it so the default type of enemy doesn't attack the fire directly anymore, so people can leave the middle alone for a bit longer without losing.

The combat was an unexpected change. Last week, we had to strip down the combat a lot right before playtesting because it wasn't working the way we wanted it to. We made a placeholder script (in like 10 minutes) that just pointed the torch in the direction of the player movement always. The playtesters and instructors surprisingly loved the last-minute change, so we added some depth this week while keeping the overall concept of spinning to attack.

What's Next:

We are still in the middle of adding more enemies, so we'll continue to work on those next week (in particular, a termite that steals wood from the fire and special enemies in the lake, and possibly more). We also want to finally add sound effects and music, which we've been putting off because we want to make our own sounds! We're pretty far ahead in the development, so we might even have extra time to make a boss fight, which would tie up the game nicely.

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