Colleague of mine who works with me in my current workplace as a Lead Designer noticed one thing missing in my Postmortem of Unholy Showdown – I need more analytical approach to design issues.
I’ll try to cover this topic in following post.
Here is the list of major issues that I managed to identify with testers at various stages of development:
Most of the testers played the game as a single player even though my primary design decision was to base the game on local multiplayer. This caused confusion and unclear feedback the game gave to players on many stages. The solution was either to redesign the game to single player only or implement an online turn based multiplayer. The problem here again was with getting the feedback too late. I consider this as the worst design “sin” of mine.
No time pressure
Paper / Rock / Scissors is based on time pressure and simultaneous players decisions. This game is turned based but each player can take as long as they want to make the choice and then pass the phone to another player. This made the gameplay simply boring. Again, it was too late to make a change with the resources and time I had to finish the project.
add a timer to each player rounds
redesign the game so players must make up their mind in the same time
No random or “Cheat” factor
The beauty of Paper / Rock / Scissors game is the art of bluff. The game was not giving that psychological super power of allowing players to “fake” their moves. This could give interesting results combined with the time pressure factor.
hide buttons during time pressured rounds while players make choices in the same time.
This was a great learning experience. I leveled up my technical skill but I must focus more on the design aspects during my next game making process and get feedback sooner. At some point I ventured into sort of a dead end, call it “the point of no return”. I strongly encourage anyone with gamedev aspiration to do such a task as well. The next project will be definitely better and more solid design-wise.
[EDIT Comment by Michał Rudziński]
“I would point out some other problems, from a pure design standpoint. I didn’t mentioned it before, because you said that Gameplay isn’t subject to change, and to be honest rock paper scissors in it’s simplest form (contrary to systems used in some RTS games where units follow rps philosophy) is deeply flawed even in it’s real time version, even so called psychological meta game is only a illusion built on randomness without any real choice or strategy”
I am approaching the last line of delivery phase. I am positive I can finish this before the end of this year. One may say: about damn time. I must admit this took way too long time but it is worth it. Don’t expect much about the gameplay. The game is strictly for educational purposes only. I just want to deliver something as less crappy as possible and then move on to something more fun with all the knowledge I managed to get throught the whole process.
So far I was able to implement:
whole game loop with finishers
all the menus, credits and end screens (Demon win screen is work in progress)
one obligatory in-app purchase (no need to pay anything, just for me to learn how to add those sort of things)
tweak some animations and remove certain pixel art graphics in favor to more hi-res versions
add the remaining achievement pictures
Here is the intro to Unholy Showdown with my not so professional voice over 🙂
I finally managed to convince my beautiful and talented Justyna that this game deserves better graphics.
She could not stand the uglyness of my primitive pixelart so she’s making a better version of… everything !
This post will try to show you the perspective view on what I have been through since April 2016. Everything has changed … 3 times.
The game idea originated in year 2014 during my internships in a GameDev company. By a dumb accident a senior game designer and my mentor Tomasz Strzelczyk made a joke about a pitch of a totally different game.
He said that the pitch I made was not clear enough and joked that “this looks like a pitch for a game about demon who possesed the pricesses and it says nothing about a mechanic… It could be as well as a rythm game” … and then he added “Woah! Imagine a game like Exorcist … but with Guitar Hero mechanic… like you know … you have this incense, a prayer and like… holy water and you need to use them to match the rythm of a song”. This idea was hilarious … and still is. Even now I still remember it.
Now the game is Turn Based Rock/Paper/Scissors with local multiplayer. How did that happen? I got players feedback… and the most hilarious idea that sounded ultimately awesome … wasn’t that awesome while real people tried it in practice.
Let me show you some screens from early alphas and compare them with current status…
… and you may be sure about one thing – they will most probably change as well.
Right… so there’s that game I am developing since April 2016.
The game is called Unholy Showdown. It’s my first game which will be available to public. I don’t expect it to be a commercial success and I treat this project as a test ground for my skills. I want to pass through the whole game development process and gain practical skills that I will use in my second project.
I didn’t want to write anything out to public before I actually complete the alpha stage and make it feature complete.
I used to try that before but it never worked out. I canceled at least 15 prototypes so far. The only games I managed to complete were simple microgames made during game jams. This is the farthest I went so far.
Now that the game is in solid form with gameplay that will probably not change drastically, time to start this DevLog, move the game to Beta and add/improve graphic and sound assets.