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Late Night Rants #005 – Play Value and Polish

Well, I missed another released goal. At this point it’s really not a surprise, it has happened countless times in the past, but at least in this case I was wise enough to call it an estimate. On the bright side it wasn’t for lack of trying or more importantly without a decent amount of work put in and, more importantly, progress.

A reasonable question at this point, considering the length of the to-do list i posted in the last rant, would be if so much progress was made and that content was not completed, then what was worked on for the last 2 months? A large focus has been put into revitalizing and improving the play value of old content. What do i mean play value? Let’s take a look at world 1 content to start.

I’ve seen a lot of people play Weegee. I seek out let’s plays and live streams all the time to see how players cope with game content for the first time. One thing I’ve noticed all too often is a player managing decently with the early platforming only to give up when it comes to the first boss.

What a waste. To invest so much time creating content in the game to have people decide its not worth continuing before seeing even 10% of the content it has to offer. The good news is there is a simple remedy to this, make the game start easier and build in a better difficulty curve. I understand that it is meant to be an IWBTG fangame and difficulty should be on the high side, but there is no harm in starting the player slow, allowing them to accomplish something and then bring the difficulty up in later content.

So I’ve gone back. I’ve altered the early game screens to make them quite easily playable to anybody with a semblance of platforming ability. Starting with something easily achievable will open the game to new players of iwbt fangames and hopefully will allow more players to experience the rest of the content i have devoted so much time to create.

Lowering the difficulty at the start isn’t the only way I’ve added play value though. I’ve also gone back and improved the game in some other ways to increase appeal, most notably visuals and sounds. For example more objects in the game interact, or shake the screen, or make sound when you activate them, or spray out particles when you destroy them. It makes the game feel more alive and fun to play for such little effort on my end.

To wrap up here is a list of what I still need to get done:

  • Polishing on world 5 boss. (Was never quite happy with this)
  • Finalise final path and final boss
  • Finish new backgrounds for worlds 2-5
  • A secrety secret area
  • Finish new secret characters and improve sloppy animations on the old ones
  • Finish a couple of unlockable items
  • Credits screen
  • Bonus room wrap up
  • Known bug squashing
  • New game plus
  • Warp room

The list is actually likely to be a bit longer than it was last time, but i feel like the items on it should take less time than what was to be completed before. An any% run of the game is all but possible at this point and a 100% run is not far off. For the first time in a while I feel like the game is pretty content complete and is really worth playing past the first couple worlds. I’m actually content with the game as it stands and I’m looking forward to releasing it as soon as I iron out the rest of the issues. I’d love to have a release candidate (at least a private beta in my “testing circle”) before Christmas.

As always thank you for your continued support, especially those of you that have bothered to read all this (probably like 700 words at this point O_O). I’ll see you soon.

Trigger014

4 Comments

  1. I have to say I’m really looking to the final version of this game. One question though, were you planning to keep the secret areas at their current difficulty (especially the early ones)or tune them according to the new difficulty curve.

    • I think they will mostly stay where they are. If anything is excessively difficult it might get tweaked just a bit to be more in line with the rest of the content, but I quite like them as they stand. They are probably rewarding enough at the end (too many prize bubbles) to warrant a higher difficult anyway. Combine that with the fact that they are completely optional I don’t see any real need to mess with them.

      • I do believe they are fine in terms of difficulty and am glad to see you are keeping them the same. Can’t wait for the release version!

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