We started out week 8 with a quick meeting with our clients. As we were still in the full swing of development now that our clients were on board with the idea, we showed them our latest improvements in their rough states. We spent most of the time describing to them the functionality of our new features and how they could be used in conjunction with live events.
After the meeting we went straight to working on finalizing the level builder and creating the UI elements that would be needed for users to interact with both the main game and the level builder. The level builder proved to be problematic, as there were many edge cases that we had to consider in order to make it usable. By rigorously testing the level builder internally we were able to identify the existing bugs, and make notes of UI optimizations that needed to be made. By the end of the week the level builder was fully functioning, and we were then able to use the level builder to do level design from within the application itself, storing the serialized levels.
Our UI took a significant step forward during this week, as we were able to have buttons and a temporary map created, making the game much more readable. Apart from the map, we created clean icons for the medals, the level builder, the friends list and the level builder component icons. We will still have to improve upon some of the UI elements, and create more to support all of our functionality, but the game looks far more polished now.
We decided to alter our input method, so that running was used as a short term nitrous boost within the game. We chose to do this to discourage players from physically exhausting themselves while playing the game. Adding in the energy bar, and the upsides to running, we had also included an element of choice in the game, where players had to choose where they were going to run for extra speed.
We concluded the week with a playtest at the Winchester Thurston Upper School, this time as a part of one of the Computer Science classes taught there. Because of this we were able to test with a greater number of students, and the students had an interest in not only the game itself, but how we were making the game. The students reported that they enjoyed the game, and in particular that they enjoyed building levels. The students commented that they wanted the capability to be able to share their levels with friends. The students did seem tired out by playing however, so we will need to consider how to further pace the physical exertion during play.