4 Hugues Ross - Blog: AMAZE - 20 - Fixes and Balances
Hugues Ross

2/24/14

AMAZE - 20 - Fixes and Balances

With the Games Fest over, I finally have time to fix things up a bit and focus on getting the game in a more fun and more stable state. Here's what I've got so far:

Changelog:

  • Fixed Windows builds. It was quite a dumb bug. It also took maybe 5 minutes to fix, so I'm both very relieved and very annoyed.
  • Made some small changes to a few early levels, mostly to simplify things and help teach the player a bit better.
  • Doubled the number of starting lives.
  • Fixed an issue which would cause the game to be reach an unbeatable state once you ran out of lives and respawned.

Speaking of the Games Fest, I think it might be fun to write about that here. Overall, I think things went quite well. I set up a little table with the game running, and I was almost unable to leave the booth at all with all the people playing! Most of the people who played got through the tutorial up until the last level, gave it a few tries, then left saying they'd had fun. While people liked the game, few of them got past this stage due to it being a sharp increase in difficulty. After some tweaking, I made it a bit easier. I think more people will be able to go through it now. The people who made it past the level all continued playing(at least, until they ran out of lives and reached the game-breaking bug that I described above), which is a good sign. I also was initially surprised about something I noticed: The players who seemed enjoy the game the most were young children and their parents. This makes sense in retrospect, as those kinds of people generally make up most of the 'casual' demographic. I never intended to aim my game at a specific set of people, but it makes sense. The game lets you move at a slow pace and think, levels are short, you can stop whenever, and there's pretty much no violence to speak of. Another thing I noticed was that two people who tried out my game noticed similarities to Chips Challenge, the game I'm taking a fair bit of inspiration from. It made me happy seeing that some people noticed this, but no-one thought it was too close or anything.

I also decided on a release date: April 25, 2014.

This gives me only two months, so I don't know how easily I can hit the date, but I'll do my best. April 25th is the last day of finals this year, so the idea is to get this game out just as summer vacation starts. With that done, I'll have the whole summer to work on new projects, including the next version of my engine. Here's exactly what I have left to add, in a general chronological order:

  1. Finish the game code. I only have to code in the mechanics in the final zone, and the game's code should basically be done.
  2. QA testing. Champlain College has a QA lab where you can get some basic testing and feedback for your games, so I just need to sign up for a few sessions.
  3. Figure out the licenses for the libraries being used, and see if I can merge them into the game's executable. If I can, I won't need to provide libraries or get people to install them. This will greatly simplify the process of getting the game into the hands of other people. EDIT: I figured out a better way to distribute the Linux libs, so I shouldn't need to static link anymore. Also, it looks  like all of the libraries are using the same license, which coincidentally happens to be the one I was planning on using.
  4. Finish the final 10 levels of the game. At this rate, I could make 1 per week and be okay, so this shouldn't be an issue.
  5. Make/remake all of the game's assets. This one's the hard bit, and I don't know exactly how long it'll take. For now, I'll try to get 1 done per day and see how well that works.

That's it! Once those 5 things are done, the game should be finished, and I'll be able to release it.
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