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Late Night Rants #002 – Making the game… easier?

The upcoming version of IWBTW (v0.6) will, hopefully, be a fair bit easier than the old versions, at least for a few screens. When I shared this idea with some of my beta testers the general response was, “Why?”. It’s a fair question. Why make a game that is based on replicating the style of I Wanna Be the Guy, a platformer for masochists, easier? It comes down to playability.

Many of the changes that make the game “easier” are really just relieving frustrating or tedious bits of the screens without changing the goal or the method of completing that goal. For example take a look at these two screenshots, New version of the screenOld version of the screenthe first screenshot is the new version of the screen. The second is the old one with the changes highlighted in red.

The object of the room is to fall and shoot the block holding the crates up on the left of the screen. To add a bit more challenge, the screen fades in and out of total blackness. When the player finally hits it they exit to the left.

The most glaring change is the addition of the “low clearance” sign. As it is not obvious that the player can NOT fit under the spikes without crawling the sign is a warning that eliminates a ton of frustration when the player finally hits the mark and dies to spikes they thought they could fit under.

Next is the missing spike. The player originally had to fall and shoot the block. Timing this shot was pretty damn difficult, and because of the turret to the right, using the conveyor belt to get back was almost a sure death. Now the player can land and shoot, lining up the shot for them, eliminating a huge luck factor and a lot of frustration. The turrets ensure that the difficulty does not drop too much.

Finally, the turret above the climbing wall is changed. It can be destroyed, so if you climb the wall it is possible to try again without having to survive the trip around. Its a small change that makes a big difference in gameplay.

The changes are minor of course, but they eliminate a good deal of irritation when playing the screen. It’s still essentially the same goal, completed about the same way, but its more FUN, and that’s what’s important. By applying minor changes like this to a number of screens repetitive deaths should be reduced, the death counter should be less artificially inflated, and the player should enjoy playing the game a bit more.

Version 0.6 should be out in a week or so if all goes well. As always thanks for the support on the project and for reading this bullshit. 🙂

Trigger014

2 Comments

  1. You know, I’m pretty sure that once this game reaches completion, it can easily reach the same level or better than any of the other IWBT_ games. It’s fun, inventive, has a progression in abilities, new level designs, puzzles, bosses are incredibly fun (X was insane to take down the first time, but he’s easily one of my favourite boss fights already), and the treasures and extra characters are actually completely worth getting and fun to use.

    I like that you’re trying to make the difficulty new and intriguing each time, without forcing people to go through the same stuff over and over again in order to just get another attempt at something ridiculous (I like your idea of being able to destroy the turret because it would actually make it worth it to go around for a second try as opposed to simply restarting). Just be careful not to nerf the game too much (after all it is an IWBT_ game).

    Anyway I look forward to further work you do because it seems like you keep getting better and better with each world you do (Zelda world is brilliant! The cat rescue concept is hilarious). Wishing you the best!!

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