Newsletter Week 5

Please wait: loading art asserts…100%, scripts…100%, caffeine fueled all-nighters…100%. Loading complete, first prototype done.

Our team worked hard this week to deliver a prototype that was jam-packed with content. The features that were implemented during this sprint included: tilting the screen to change the player’s direction, tapping to jump, collectible power-ups, a checkpoint system, a multi-layered background with parallax scrolling, and a character sprite. The prototype was completed relatively early in the week which allowed us time to gather feedback from people outside the team.

Anthony Daniels, the man behind C3P0, visited the SV campus and we were lucky enough to sit down with him to discuss our project. The meeting offered us insight into how someone not directly involved in the development process views our work. We learned that concepts we thought were intuitive require additional explanation and that it is important for us to identify who our target audience is early, so that we can tailor the experience to that demographic. In addition to sharing our prototype with Anthony, we conducted our first official playtest.

The goal of the playtest was to discover people’s reactions to the artwork and core gameplay mechanics. The result was constructive feedback on what we did right and what we need to improve upon. Things we did right: the tilting/tapping controls were intuitive and the art style had a calming emotional effect on players. Things we need to improve: the tilting sensitivity needs to be tweaked and the character design needs to be clearer since playtesters were unsure who they were playing as. We plan on addressing these issues during our next iteration of development.

Right now, however, development is on hold as we are currently preparing for  ¼ presentations which take place next week. Following the presentations, we will jump right into our second sprint. Our goals for the next phase of development include additional level design as well as sprite animation for the player character. Stay tuned!