At the end of my last post I mentioned we were getting ready for play testing. Since then we have spent some time getting other people to playtest the game, both in person at school and online. We got a stable build together that we thought would represent the final product well enough to get some helpful feedback and started testing. Our first day of playtests lead to the discovery of a variety of new bugs in the game that we hadn't seen before. Once those were fixed we continued testing with a new build. By testing the game and watching other people play we were able to gain a ton of feedback and insight as to what needed to be changed and what worked well.
We received mostly positive feedback about the overall game. People seemed to like our art style and thought the game was relatively fun. However we also got a few suggestions as to how to make the game better. A general consensus was that the combat felt a bit sluggish and slow. We also noticed a ton of players weren't quite sure what each element of the HUD corresponded too.
Responding to Feeback
To avoid the sluggish feel we decided to speed up our attack animations as well as the dodge roll. This makes the combat feel alot quicker and better overall. As for the HUD we made it a high priority to overhaul our tutorial system to better explain to the player what everything is.
We also noticed a few players ignoring the tutorial and then not knowing how to play later. To minimize this we now pause the game at each tutorial step and wait for the correct input before allowing the player to continue. We also added a screen explaining how to control the hacking minigame as well as explaining which doors each of Evolve's powers corresponded too.
Since my last post we have finished texturing a few more of the rooms throughout the level. We are getting pretty close to having all the rooms fully textured.
We also have swapped out the placeholder item drops and collectables with their actual objects.
The spider drones have also been replaced with actual spider models.
Another thing that was done recently was animations for opening various doors in the level. Animations were done for the doors sliding open as well as the bridges dropping down. Another animation was done using a dissolve shader to make the firewalls look like they are actually burning away when you shoot them.
The next major addition that we started getting into the game recently was character textures. Evolve and the enemy robots are currently textured and we are just waiting on Arachnid.
The last main change that we made is updating our UI. We currently have implemented a new in game HUD and other UI elements are being worked on such as the icons for the hack mini game and menu buttons. The new hud includes icons for each of the super moves so its is more obvious what moves each cool down applies to. The new HUD also has a spot for character portraits that will be added soon. This will help the player identify the two charactes and which one they are playing as more easily.