Friday, April 30, 2010

A Shooter feedback #3

Yup, another nice Playtester has spent some time testing out my game in XBLIG land. I am starting to feel more pressure to do more myself and stop with the annoying global high scores coding. bah!

Here is what they wrote:-

1. Graphics are definitely the thing holding the game back currently, though looks like you've got some changes lined up to improve that? Mainly bullet sprites are ugly, could also use more visual indicator when hitting enemy ships, and ships wings tilting when they move "vertically" would add a lot.
2. The limited range of the player's bullets felt off to me. I felt that I should be able to sit at the back of the screen and hit enemies/bosses at the other side of the screen, however I was forced to move closer to hit them. This may be an intended game design choice though.
3. When the trial time period is over, if you select to buy the game, after purchasing the game it resets to the main menu, losing my progress. Would be nice if I could keep playing from where I was after purchasing, though isn't a necessity since it would only be a one time inconvenience.
4. It may just be me, but I could not figure out what to do with bombs. I expected them to damage all ships in my vicinity, but I saw the bomb graphic come up and nothing seemed to happen to the enemy ships. Is there something special I need to do with bombs?
5. Overall the first few levels felt about right challenge wise for my first few times through. Could use some power-ups for the player's gun in those first few levels to make them more interesting. Solid game at the moment though, no bugs/crashes to report.

Lets see what i wrote in reply. I will also add some commentary in a different color.

1. Yup, Graphics suck. I know. I am so glad they are being worked on now, I feel like the graphics i have in their are so old and tired. They just wanna get renewed. A lot of them will be in the next version. (Although i have written this in one form or another each time i get feedback. The fact it is still being raised means i should be calm and reply to each querry or comment like it is the first. simply because it is the first for this Playtester)
2. The range of the bullets is a direct gameplay element, it make syou have to go into danger to make the enemeies less dangerous (by killing them). This gets more lenient with the firepower upgrades as you progress simply because there is more on the screen and you will need more room to maneouver etc. I hope this makes sense. (Explaining my design choices is aweseom and always gets me excited. This time i chose a fairly short explanation, But i have written a lot on this subject in previous posts, so onwards)
3. Yeah, The game resets currently. I believe that was an oversight by me. In my previous titles I allow you to continue, I see no reason for me not to alter and fix this. Even if it is once. I do not want to start the player who just bought my game off with an , Oh noes! They might feel like it was a bad choice and not recommend it to others. (This is a good find. One i was particular about in previous games. although it happens once. It could make the difference in the persons mind. someone who has bought your game could be it's greatest ambassador, so make em happy!)
4. The bombs are standard smart bombs (smart enough to only effect enemy firepower ??), They only effect enemy bullets and not the enemy ships. Though one type of smart bomb does indeed change the enemy bullets into your own bullets and fires them away from you, possibly hitting enemies along the way. (Not sure what he expected, but it gave me another chance to talk about an aspect of my gameplay, woohoo)
Your final comment was interesting. Did you find the powerups for your ship? there is one on each level in 1 and 2 player modes, and 2 in 3 and 4 player modes. It sounds like maybe you did not, as the first upgrade is to Fire faster and with more range. The second levels powerup will add some three way fire to you ship. (When the new graphics go in, I am hopeful that this will be a more obvious powerup delivery system. This note did me take notice that it is at the moment not obvious enough. A Good find, though not a bug, could cost me sales!)

There ya have it. Excellent feedback and gave me lots to say.


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