After finishing up prototypes 5 and 6, the team moved directly into the final few weeks of the semester where they focused on playtesting the product, iterating based on feedback, and polishing the final demo as a whole. Informal playtests have been conducted all semester when smaller features were implemented, but since all prototypes were finished and integrated the team put together a full day of formal playtesting to see how the full experience felt to various individuals. The team received a lot of great feedback, but the two most overwhelming and impactful comments were along the lines of:
- “I can’t target any enemies and I’m having a hard time hitting them. I feel like I’m just slashing at the air in an arbitrary direction.”
- “When I hit an enemy, I pass through them and have to turn around. Could you maybe hit them back a little so they always stay in front of you?”
In response to these two pieces of feedback, we implemented a targeting system and improved enemy hit reactions so they actually stumble back and stay in front of you for a more manageable combo. The targeting system was something we had not planned to implement, but in response to the overwhelming amount of feedback regarding the lack of targeting we put in a left arm targeting system. When the player winds up for a slash with their right arm, they can use their left arm to point in the direction they would like to turn and aim, and when they get relatively centered on an enemy a “target” reticle pops up around that enemy and allows the player to slash directly at that enemy.
Beyond the playtests, the team has also been busy polishing all existing elements of the final demo. Dismemberment has been added to the game to enhance the gratification of killing an enemy beyond simple ragdolling, and with this the sync kill now has scripted dismemberments that fit the slashes exactly and make the sync kill event sequence more rewarding.
Blocking has also been implemented so the player can choose to block enemy attacks when necessary. This is performed by a simple gesture (hands above head, in front of face), and this causes an energy shield to appear in front of the player and block any incoming damage from enemies.
Finally, new textures have been added to the hero and enemy Riggs that make them stand out against each other even more and help them telegraph their movements better. These textures are included in the above screenshots.
The team will be making a final push towards soft opening and finals to get in any last changes and polish elements before the semester is over.