Raining, Pouring

Hey everyone!

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We’ve been┬ádoing some intensive testing and feedback gathering recently. From this feedback, we’ve reached some conclusions:

– The HUD needs some work [Mostly done]
– Some visuals are confusing
– The intro isn’t working

We’ve put a lot of time into the HUD to ensure that it’s far more streamlined and stage-relevant than it was before. Currently, the only permanent fixture is the stage type and goal. When you kill an enemy, the combo appears (but only for as long as your combo survives). We’ve removed the timer and made it an optional menu-selected fixture, because we noticed it was stressing players out and making them want to go faster than they should have.

That last bit of feedback is a big task to fix. We came to the realization that almost all our players were ignoring important information and getting confused later. To us, this means that we need to spend more time tutorializing, and more time ensuring that the key concepts are being learned, not just seen and forgotten.

We’re using this as an opportunity to re-address the intro altogether and bring in something with a bit more of a hook. There’ll be more on that as it comes, but it will hopefully help pull players into the story and game far faster than “training sequence” will.

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Beyond this, I’ve put together a rather handy analytics server/overlay that lets me gather data on player death over the internet. This data is displayed visually on the server, but can also be loaded into Overclocked itself and displayed on the level. What this means is that I can run through any level of my choice and see exactly where people are dying, and to what.

It’s pretty awesome.

It’s too real

Hey everyone!

The past week or so has been devoted to a variety of tasks. These tasks are:

  • Balancing and revising every level in the game so far
    • In some cases, this has meant complete redesigns where levels felt too difficult, or just plain unfair to complete
  • Creating the splash screen -> main menu sequence
    • As of now, the game’s menu is functionally complete, and allows for save file creation, resuming, and deletion
    • New games launch directly into the first cutscene, while resumed games launch to Iris
  • Separating options settings from individual save files
    • At this point, I’d consider the save file system functionally complete
  • Level tiling and Amber animation improvements

There are other small things that we’ve completed as well, but these are the main elements.

Tomorrow, Justin and I return to school, but the intention is to continue creating new levels and content throughout the next few months, while polishing up and testing the initial two episodes for the purposes of ensuring that we’re making Overclocked in a fun and appealing way.

Look back here soon for more level design and art progress! Let’s get this train rolling again.

Chris