From late November until now I’ve made many people play the game. I’ve made a bunch of people from Creative Computing Club play it which has been perfect because they are the age group I’m targeting. Over Christmas I’ve been able to get my Friends and Family’s kids to play the game so I’ve been quite fortunate to get some feedback from this age group. As well as that I’ve had feedback from much older people and also friends from University.
Everyone loves the idea of them acting upon something to match the shape. One person thought that the shape should be matched automatically without the need to swipe it but I think its more rewarding when you physically do it yourself and when you see the swipe animation and I think the player wont think that when they first go through the tutorial because it will first make you swipe a shape before showing you how to aim the cannon. When at the moment there is no tutorial but me just trying to explain what to do. Some people also wasn’t sure whether the shape has to be swiped in the same orientation so when making the tutorial I’ll need to place the X’s in different ways so the player knows that the same orientation isn’t needed to achieve a correct swipe.
In total I’ve made around 8-10 young people play the game and around the same number of older people. The older people took much longer to get the hang of it but the younger people were able to play it well after the 3rd or 4th shape being swiped. Where they start to mess up is when they are waiting for their last X to be placed and in a panic they see its the next one. They move frantically to the position but mess up because either they’ve missed or haven’t got there in time. Then what happens is they hesitate for too long on the next one at the point where they are positioned for a specific colour X and then their strategy is ruined because a different coloured X fires and locks on to a place which they didn’t want. So they’ve spent roughly about 10 – 11 cannon fires to get to that point and then everything collapses because of that one mistake and if they are over 2/3 of the way through the grid it can be a big problem unless the player has done well to have each colour sorted and has a better chance of swiping a shape with only 2-3 more cannon fires.
From this critical evaluation I need to make things slightly easier for the player to recover. Dave mentioned how the cannon should stop firing when you start swiping a shape but I disagreed because the player could cheat and hold his finger on an X and begin to chill out. But now I’m thinking that as long as the cannon cant move this should be okay. This is one thing that will help, giving the player more time to swipe and reduce panic on them moments of swiping a shape. If they get it wrong the first time then they’ll still have the time to try again. I am including 3 power ups which will cost a certain amount of currency that has been rewarded by previous rounds the player has played. One power up is the ability to swipe two Xs to swap them over. This is the one power up which I think will dramatically improve the game in 3 ways.
- Will help the player recover from mistakes.
- Will enhance the amount of strategic moves ahead.
- Will allow the player to swipe more shapes with a small time gap between each shape therefore allowing multipliers and basically feel more rewarding.
The last thing the game needs is to allow the player to recover from a mistake, is by increasing the probability that the colour you want comes out when you’ve got 10 or less spaces available. A number of times I watched people play and the colour they want doesn’t come out. The game will need to know what colour X the last one on the column is and then choose a random colour from those colours.
Currently the rate of fire is too fast for some people but can be too slow for others. Most however have said it is too fast, but as I see them play they get more enjoyment out of being frantic than waiting. The gap is 2 seconds. I am going to begin the game at 5 seconds and gradually increase it to 3. I want to find a good way to signify what is happening and a reason behind it. I then want to begin with phases so the base rate would be 4 seconds but it decreases to 2 seconds for a short amount of time. The way I’m thinking about showing this is to have thick lines on both sides of the screen which increase in height as the rate of fire increases. When it reaches the top it then drops down swiftly and the player receives a reward.
The beginning of the game is too slow so 2 rows of ordered coloured X’s will spawn and the player will begin from there.
People already find enjoyment out of swiping shapes, which will get much more enhanced when we get sound effects working and scores being shown.
Positive comments on all of the animations.
Game works and currently there is only one known bug which is excellent
Clear goals apart from the next shape image
Unclear when the Cannon fires out
Here is a list of tasks which I need to get complete within the next 2-3 weeks.
Iteration 1 breakdown
- Cannon firing times need to stop at certain moments in the game.
- Cannon must not be able to move when swiping a shape.
- Implement the first power up.
- The game spawns 2 rows of Xs at the start.
- Fire rate starts at 5 seconds and decreases to 3 seconds over the course of 2 minutes of play.
- Score multipliers
- Add sounds
- Next shape transition
- Showing when the cannon will fire (needs new cannon design).
- 2 x power ups
- Probability of next colour X when reduced to 10 spaces available.