So last Thursday I got sick, maybe this H1N1 thing. I'm feeling better now.
So last week I showed the game off at a small business fair at the local library to the general public. Lots of non-gamers present and many I convinced to try the game. It was really illuminating! Here are some fun facts:
- Women really enjoy it.
- They require some major cajoling to give it a try.
- The "sticking to walls" bug is very disrupting.
- There are some visibility issues that are very disrupting.
- Maybe 50% of the people asked, before trying the game, "What's the point?"
The last point is really interesting. Remember these are mostly non-gamers. Could it be people don't play games because they don't see any point to it? Weird!
By the time it was done I answered this last question along the lines of:
"It tells the story of a man from Texas who takes a Holiday in England, and then slips through a rabbit-hole like in Alice in Wonderland and ends up in an alternate Texas. He has to find his way back home, to the Real Texas, which is what the game is called: The Real Texas."
It was a bit more polished on Tuesday and I should probably have written it down.
Well, I've fixed the collision code so that you don't get caught on walls anymore. That was yesterday, and it was a surprisingly clean fix. Very satisfying as well, and amazing that I let it go for so long with such a poor implementation.
Wednesday, the day after the library, I had an epiphany. I was half-slumburing on the couch and realized what I need to do to restructure the start of the game, introduce a much snappier flow and prevent the player getting bogged down in puzzle solving before any action hits.
It's so obvious, and so smart! You'll have to wait for the next demo to see, and before I actually do implementation I need to do some short-story writing and diagram sketching. But this is truly rewarding:
I've been gathering feedback, observing, and thinking about the game and all it's virtues and problems for over a month now. Finally, it all sort of jellied together and that is indeed satisfying. This is why user feedback is vital, folks!
My fellow game devs, do everything you can to get feedback on your game, earlier the better!