At the Alpha

As we’ve progressed through the reading week we’ve been able to create a demo showcasing quite a few different things about our game. There are two main things we wanted to be done for the alpha. First, we’d really like to have three rooms: the hallway, the bathroom, and the kitchen fully worked out in regards to puzzles and wall/roof walking. Second, we want different rooms to be able to connect in a NON RANDOM way.

We know that we’re a bit behind in development because we ended up switching our concept but we were able to make quite a bit of progress:

Alpha version of Aimless Manor

After the presentation on Feb 25th we got a few comments:

2 puzzles completed?
– wasn’t clear that we showed both puzzles
initially when you are presenting the concept w/o dictating the game
– need to explicitly define what the game is
– what are you really doing
– what is your main feature
– no friction with first time user: keep in mind of small window space to engage your audience
– “gratifying???” first time user experience
– if you have to explain to them, a lot won’t even listen
– people won’t even listen @ level up just even due to being audio queues
– if you put it in someone’s hand + don’t say anything, they should figure out what to do on their own
– like being going upside down, but what is the benefit
– how can you complete the game with it? b/c it seems like it’s not NECESSARY right now
– rendering: first pass? or use different lighting + shaders

Considered what the brand is going to look like?
– The identity
– Brand
– Logo mark
– Before trying to even engage in the game, that’s important
Stars on everything that’s interactive
– What is the challenge if all are lead the player through?
– Promote exploration a bit more

2nd puzzle: go up in difficulty from tutorial
– currently have a lot of steps
– you can make a lot in that room interactable in the future
– ease player into it
– might have subtleties
Instead of stars on walls, footsteps
– clear transition whent hat happens? in a different mode
– looks like instantaneous now
– so why do you have to get on the ceiling if you can interact on the floor
– establish constraint

? How to hook with tutorial
– Usually put the player on “rails”
– Walk though them for first “place” so they understand rationale
– What is my objective = so they can either get off the rail or stay on it
– small visual cues to EASE person into game
– either audio cues or small dialogue
– PRESENT the audience the opportunity to dismiss or learn from the game
– need to have handholding
– LEVEL UP REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY LOUD
– if use audio cues, bring GOOD HEADPHONES
– if stove has red light = red light = cannot use, but how can i make this usable?
– SHOW what they can use and they cannot
– have symbols (ex) on door
– whatever is A PUZZLE in an escape room – made CLEAR that you know it’s a part of the puzzle
– a part of the immersion
– Particle effects do take you out of the immersion

When the person is actually collecting the keys
– IMPORTANT TO REINFORCE ACCOMPLISHMENT
– they need engagement so they can get more
– when you play “candy crush” – positive engagement
– Significance of combining the three items?
– Hitchhiker’s guide to the galay’s level of arbitrariness of the combining

STEVE: you had that interesting thing to travel between portals
– understand why portals work in the first room, but didn’t use in the second room
– cool if you did more to explore more sides of the room to solve the puzzle
– (basically implement portals in every room)
– need more exploration than arbitrary experience

EMMA: How do you get the pleasure to the player as quickly as possible
– quick PAY OFF
– emphasize PLEASURE + visually
– provide motivation + measurement of “win”
– don’t do slow-burner which takes more attention to detail and time which players may not have

– Reinforcement: HAVE A STORY TO IT
– no reason to find the keys right now
– story hoooooooook
– too late to the saying the story
– lead in to your game so first thing to say to understand situation
– nothing in the game that makes it feel like your story (ghost)
– like maybe 3rd person perspective to see why you are ghost
– first person can see, point, click, and thus have no point to interact
make it so that users can appreciate the mechanics

Now that we have some feedback on our alpha we know there’s a lot of things we are going to need to focus on.

This week specifically we will work on making our tutorial better and create better kitchen puzzles so that when we give it to playtesters its more fun to play.

Early Kitchen scene
Early materials & reflectivity testing
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