Still enjoying the remainders of the festivities, January naturally got off to a slow start (how else can January start though?). We’re still focusing on perfecting our Grove Demo, we had a lot of useful feedback from Cyprus show, as well as our previous feedback from Dreamhack. We knew game feel was still not as good as it could be, for a puzzle game this is a major issue.
The main obstacle which we saw effecting game feel was the controls, including people's ability to 'warm' to the controls. This essentially meant two things:
1) We need to refine our controls once more
2) We need to onboard players better
Firstly we were back to the drawing board with our control scheme. This mainly concerned our Console controls: we reconfigured (again) how the triggers were used and this helped simplify erecting L-P1Ns platform (yay!). We were under-the-cosh to do our PC controls, so our first go at them came with teething problems.
Our first chance at testing out our PC controls to the public came at PG Connects... so consider that public happen to be experienced experts at games. We got tones of great feedback from here, not just regarding controls but also small details which were affecting our game feel quite badly. For instance, we had no collision on the Holo for L-P1N, which made players 'lose' the Holo inadvertently. This made them feel confused and decreased control - not good. Adding collision really improved this, small details like so can really transform the feel of a mechanic.
One thing we've learned as a small studio is to always ask questions at events like this. Ask if they enjoyed it, ask them to be brutally honest, find out why they didn't enjoy it and endeavour to find out what they would do to improve it. Log everything everyone says - but choose what to listen to and act upon. For instance, we also had feedback from one particular player who stated they loved the art style, but then said the painted texture effect was too painted and shouldn't be visible. Is that valid? Any view is, but will we change our style when everyone has raved about the hand painted effect in our art style - no. So to any start up indie studio, listen to everything, but act on advice with a rounded perspective.
For our PC controls - there was much to improve on, we did one round of reiteration and seemed to nail it which was fab. Who knew the mouse wheel would have felt so good?
None of us apparently!
- Publisher brochure ❌
- Publisher Pitch ✔️
- Trailer ❌
- Animations ❌
- New Demo tutorial ✔️
- PC Controls in ✔️
- PG Connects ✔️