Cappin' Stones (11/2/2016) Part 1
Wow, A lot has happened. So much so that I haven't been able to write a blog post in a while.
We have been hard at work on the game, getting art assets in, scratch audio, QA testing the game, getting feedback, and getting out of deep dive. I figured I'd break this blog post into multiple parts. How many? As long as it takes.
Going into deep dive, we needed to reprogram the game from scratch. The original pitch prototype was in 3D, while the game was in 2D. Work on this was slow, initially, focusing a lot on the beat system and making things easy to make levels with (see last post). What we ended up with looked a lot like this:
At this point, the game was functional, it had working guards, with paths they follow (the blue "N"'s serving as a visual representation of points the guard will walk to.), a laser system, (seen with the red line coming from the wall) and a beat. At this stage, there was no audio beat for the rhythm, and only a visualizer down below. When a beat would happen, the two would meet. In addition, all the security systems moved to the beat. We took this to QA and got strange feedback.
Without audio for a beat, people were confused, but some people actually found the game perfectly playable without it. Having everything move to the beat, at a consistent rate, gave some people enough feedback to get through the game perfectly. While some were dumbfounded. We asked people what we could do to improve the rhythm aspect of the game, and we got a lot of people saying "add sound" while other people gave us much more ingenious ideas:
Our current rhythm visualizer is out of the way from gameplay, at the bottom of the screen and kind of distracting. It could be replaced by a flashing at the sides of the screen. Other people wanted "tells". While the guards and lasers move at fixed beats, the guard can feel "unpredictable" as there is no animation on the guard. A lurching forward animation or a head bob could go a long way to making the beat feel great
We also got lashed for the lack of art. Everything in this build was programmer art, due to inability to communicate with our artist. Our artist was seemingly impossible to be reached, and promised art over and over... but didn't deliver. We were frantically shuffling around to get art in, and eventually got some assets, but only a few usable ones.
With what we had, we decided to try to challenge out of deep dive, only to be told what we already knew: we need art and sound. Luckily, I had been working on sound the last week, and our artist promised to get art to us as soon as she could. Which leads to the next part.