Week 13 – Audio Based Games

The soft opening is coming!

Usually, a soft opening or soft launch is the opening of a business for a limited number of people at first in order to test its services and make improvements. As for ETC’s projects, we need to get the final products basically ready for faculty to playtest first. They will provide feedback for the products and then before the final presentation, we will still have almost two full weeks to polish the products.

Last weekend, we decided that we will add another experience in which we will not use the screen at all! So the player can take the experience without looking at or using the screen. The whole experience will be based on audio. The player will use Tap to interact with the story. They can make choices, control the spaceship using just finger taps. Yes, there is a spaceship involved. The name of this experience is Hero’s Journey.

So obviously there will not be a screenshot for this. But here is the video:

Meanwhile, we also keep polishing the experience with the UI. We now have a complete story and the game mechanics are all finished. The player can use finger taps to control the spaceship. The thumb and little fingers are for the turning and the middle three fingers are for the acceleration. The radar on the screen will be the actual location of the player’s ship in the game world. The player needs to collect information and space junk to go back to Earth. And we have also decided the name of this experience to be Sky of Echoes.

Here is the video for the current gameplay:

On Tuesday, we had another big playtest. We have around 10 playtesters. We tested both of the two products and got lots of positive and constructive feedback. On Wednesday, we also have our faculty instructors playtested our products. Generally the feedback is consistent with the feedback we got from the playtesting on Tuesday.

So based on the feedback, we decided to polish the products accordingly. For Hero’s Journey, the top priority will be adding more interactions. One huge problem is that a lot of playtester complained that the game feel pretty much like a podcast with little interaction. And the sound effects also need to be more immersive. And for the Sky of Echoes, we will complete the story and mechanics first and then polished the UI further.

The soft openings will start from next Monday and hopefully, we will have everything ready by then!