This week was all about getting our game ready for the alpha stage. On the programming front this was filled with many backlog bugs and some last minute features based on QA feedback. Some example of what we accomplished this week are as followed.
Slipstreams are finally getting fully tested, which means many, many bugs are emerging. As such we had problems with players losing gravity when prematurely exiting the slipstream. Players flying out of the slipstream at wrong angles. And just overall stability of staying in the slip. All of these bugs have been “fixed” for now; we’ll see what happens next round of testing.
We decided to add a Slow Motion effect to the gameplay. One of our biggest concerns is giving the player enough time to react to the sudden puzzle elements they encounter after going so fast leading up to them. We added a new way to spend energy to enter a slow motion mode where the world and timer slows down so the player has more time to react the thing around him as long as his energy holds out. We made this effect much smoother and hopefully is another answer to our feedback problem.
On the same front as the Slow Motion effect we added a Early Warning system, this little pop up is to notify players when colored walls were approaching so they knew to prepare themselves for quick reactions, this was once again to help give the players more feedback of the quickly approaching changes in level.
Our game also got a new starting sequence. Up until this point when a player selected a level, it just went. We now added a 3 2 1 start system to allow the player to get ready for the game to start so they can be as prepared as possible for the level to help shave off a few seconds of time.
Air control has been always been a battle while making VXT. We don't want to give too much otherwise they will feel too floaty and lose the sense of a being a heavy metal machine. However it's a big request from testing feedback, we had slight control but we added more to it. It allows more control up to specific speeds we’ll see how testing goes and change accordingly.
Outside of gameplay things,Our menu system got another work over making it more dynamic allowing us to nest levels in groups instead of just having them all in a very long list. Which is just nice for further expansion.
Besides this our actual alpha presentation left much to be desired, we got hammered simple as that, it was a painful experiences as each and everything we presented was wrong, especially the feedback on the design of our levels and on the fundamentals of VXT. There was a lot of criticism some good some bad, but at this point we don't know if it's too late. Grim days seem to be ahead but we shall try our best to make up for it.