Dear Dropheads,
Here is what our week looked like at The Drop headquarters:
Global Game Jam 2015:
Inline image 3

Inline image 4

First, 3 of our 5 members gave up sleep for the weekend to make two really cool games that you can play for free here:

We learned quite a bit from our prototype last week and made some immediate changes.  The game was fun but impossibly difficult because of having to focus on too many elements at the same time.  We brainstormed a few different ways to simplify the game and we tested a few of them.
  1. We created an auto-fire mechanic.  This worked, but brought us too far into the realm of FPS by de-emphasizing any rhythmic skill.  However, this is a useful option that we can use to integrate new and inexperienced players into the game later on.
  2. We created a few more beatmaps that were simpler with less notes in order to allow you to focus a little bit less on the multitude of notes and look where you were aiming.  This also helped and we are currently implementing hold note functionality that will allow us to test this a little bit more.
  3. What ended up being the most effective was creating a system for guided projectiles.  This way you still need to get into the right position, but once you are you can focus a lot more on hitting the notes at the right time without having to worry as much about aiming.
Tiered Attack Tied to Note Accuracy
Another big addition this week was tying how accurate you were with the beatmap to how strong your attack is.  This also balances the game further to make it so rhythm game players can compete better with FPS players.
We also added more health for the players, scores, and some UI/feedback improvements that have allowed us to get a better feel for what matches will ultimately feel like.
Inline image 5

Inline image 8

Local Play:
As we talked about last week we are covering our bases in case networked gameplay ends up being unfeasible so we also working this week on getting local play setup.  Part of that was getting split screen working and also about setting up the controls on Xbox controllers.
We got this setup well, but initial tests have shown how much more cumbersome Xbox controllers can be for FPS games.  This is especially true when you are worrying about firing to the rhythm.  We will continue to fine-tune these controls to ensure a better experience.
Elizabeth has been working hard iterating on potential logos, halfsheets and poster designs for the project.  Here is a low-res copy of one of the poster designs.
Inline image 1

We’ll be showing you all of that good stuff next week when we finalize it, including our team photo.
As you can see in the gameplay pictures further above there is a slightly more complex environment that Ariel quickly created for the game.  Having some slight variations in elevation and some objects to hide behind added quite a bit to the experience and also taught us a little bit about how to design our environment going forward.
Elizabeth has also been working on concept art for the environment that Ariel is currently modeling.  Ariel is also continuing to work on how to make the environment react to the music.
These are just a few of the things we are currently working on.
Until next time!
The Drop