Friday, March 14, 2014

Capstone: Towards Alpha

After a very "restful" spring break we returned to work with a lot on our plate and not very much time to complete it.  Alpha is exactly Five days from the date of this blog post and we have a few missing holes that will need filling.  First and foremost we really needed to do some fixing on how quickly our player is exposed to challenges and changes in the level. When moving as fast as we were, when a sudden colored wall appeared or some other obstacles players very often did not have time to react.  We have been making small changes to the camera to help increase vision, and moving the camera to the side to give more of the screen for up coming obstacles, and while this helped testers still wanted more.

One thing they we implemented this week was making a speed cap for the player. While our game is all about speed, everything should be done in moderation, there is point when going too fast is detrimental.  This helps us regulate how fast contact will actually reach the player screen.  Hopefully this helps players feel like they have more control at "top speeds" and have more time to react to the incoming terrain.

Next we have two more advanced solutions to the upcoming walls problem, first is another way to spend our collectibles, currently when you pick up orbs you can activate a short speed boost which drains energy to help make up for mistakes or reach greater speed quickly.  This is almost the exact opposite of that, instead of using the boost to move faster, click the bumper button will enter the player into a matrix slow mode time scenario , where time literally slows down around them. This way a player can give themselves more time to react to upcoming obstacles while not taking a time hit.  This will allow for an extra level of advance game play and another choice for the player of how to spend that energy they are collecting.

Our other solution which we will be taking with slow-mo mode to an AB testing session is a sort of heads up alert.  This will have glowing edges on the screen to represent when a active wall is coming up, this way players can prepare if there is a wall above below them or right in front of them shortly.  It gives the player the warning without having to pull back the camera any more and from as far back or as close as we would like it to be.

Hopefully these changes will make VXT even more accessible to players, testing this weekend will tell.

Time to sprint towards alpha!


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