Things are slowly, but surely coming to an end.
Seven weeks have passed and only two remain. I might sound like a broken record, but I'm so proud of what my group has achieved so far. Albeit the next to weeks will be hectic and put our skills as game developers to the test, I'm looking forward to the challenge immensely.
Though the focus of this blog post is not the future, but the past; more specifically what hijinks I stumbled upon this week.
I have mostly, but not completely, moved away from level design for now. Rather, I've had my hands full with playtesting the level itself. Together with another designer, the two of us have gone through the intended player experience by playing the game while constantly asking ourselves questions. Is the size of the tar hazard in this specific room of the correct size and in the best position? Does this certain area need more enemies of a specific type to meet the intended challenge rating? How do we make these particular ranged enemies not move away from their starting positions while the player has not reached said area yet?
One of the Combat Rooms that got the most updates during the playtesting. Tar size and posisiton was updated as well as enemy positions.
Playtesting is a mountain of challenges, but by asking ourselves these questions it becomes easier to tailor the behavior of the game and how the player then reacts to that behavior then transforms into gameplay experience. The experience is something that we do not want to control, but we do want to imagine as many possible reactions as possible in order to avoid offering a negative gameplay experience. This can then be achieved by thoroughly playtesting the game.
Honestly, I've playtested the game for the majority of this week. We are "done" for now, but we also need outsiders to test it as well. I'm sure that people who have little to no knowledge of the game will offer us a lot of important information about things that we have not considered. The whole gameplay design is only a guessing game until actual players test it out and for that we need people outside of our group.
Something that my group started doing since a few weeks back is having a playsession together at the end of each Friday. We show of the work that has been done that week and play through the game. This way, everyone can see what the state of the game, with all of its pieces together, looks like. This way, it also prevents people from having different visions of what the game is. This most recent session, we managed to show off all three parts of the level as well. I played through the middle- and end part while talking about my level design approach for the middle section.
It was a relief that the group really liked what the game looks and feels like for now. It shows that we as one unit have successfully worked towards the same vision. We have had a few hickups, but I once more feel I will have a smile on my face when this game is complete.
Title song: The U.S Army Airborne - Hard Work