Week 3 – Complete

I’m happy about this one.  A lot happier than last week.  Having everything scheduled into blocks of time really helped me be more modular over the weekend when I got busy with non-Week 3 things.

That being said, I did have difficulty motivating myself on Saturday.  It resulted in me pushing a lot over to Sunday and spending a much longer time on it than I wanted.  I felt the repercussions after hour 6, I just felt exhausted and didn’t want to keep going.  But the deadline was approaching and I knew I had to finish.

Scheduling time for playtesting was HUGE.  I found a lot of quirks out that I wouldn’t have otherwise.  I completely removed the “slow down” button because it was unneeded.  I also changed how “lives” work.  It felt very abstract and non-intuitive to have the player just get hit a couple times and lose, I also had an issue where I felt like there was no reason to “explore the screen space” with the player because the top of the screen is more dangerous than the bottom.  I killed two birds with one stone and decided to make a line that slowly moves up the screen, and when the player touches THAT, they lose.  Now the player wants to get to the top of the screen.  The obstacles only stun you for a moment now instead of doing any significant damage.  In the beginning of the game it’s not that big of a deal, but the more obstacles you clear the faster the kill line moves up the screen. Also, I changed how the power-ups worked.  There was no need now for a score since the real goal was just to stay alive.  I changed the main objective to time elapsed from obstacles cleared to judge how well the player did.  Lives and Score were no longer power-up possibilities, but I wanted to do something to help ease the tension of the ever present “Line of Death” moving up the screen.  Instead of an Invincibility Power-up I had planned, I instead made a simple little visual counter for every obstacle that you clear in a row.  If you get 8 in a row, the kill line resets position, but keeps its speed.  After playtesting this for a while I was really happy with the rise and fall tension that would occur, and how those ups and downs came at faster and faster intervals.

So, playtesting paid off a lot for me this week.  I saw something that wasn’t going to be fun, and was able to cut it, reflect on what the feel of the game was, and add something more fitting in it’s place.  Scheduling my time into blocks also helped me accomplish these changes.  Modular planning let me cut out one block or modify it without throwing the rest of my project into chaos.

I finally spent some time on making my other screens besides the main game screen look a bit nicer.  I did it in a very poor way, just loading a single texture on a black filled background.  Mostly because I spent too much time on Android debugging.  This week I was able to get the HTML to compile but for some reason clicking doesn’t do anything.  I thought it was fixed because it ran but when I went to click on the first button to Start the game nothing happened.  It’s going to be linked even though it doesn’t currently work.  I’m hoping the fix isn’t something I have to do in the programming, because I’m not going to touch it again for a while.

Week 3’s project can be found on:
Google Play Store
in a Browser
download from Dropbox

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