Friday, June 3, 2011

The First Play Test, Fixing Problems, and Laziness

Today's post is going to be another brief one since I am unfortunately feeling incredibly lazy.

Yesterday I was able to get in the first play testing of "Aldea Lenta." It was a short session since there is barely any content in existence yet, but it is vital to start testing as early as possible and to keep testing as an important exercise to be done throughout development. Even with the briefness of the play test I was able to identify a few key issues already and I am mobilizing quickly to eliminate them.

First, I am going to need to work on the control scheme. Since the game uses both directional keys and the mouse, most people seem to gravitate naturally towards the WASD keys instead of the arrow keys I am using currently. This change will be easy to implement.

Second, when attempting to solve a sliding tile puzzle players will usually plan ahead were they want their pieces to move and click in that space accordingly. However, they forget that the system requires that they move the surrounding tiles in a specific order in to move a tile around. This results in clicks that do not do anything and lead to few short term confusion. I apologize for failing miserably at describing this phenomena, but it is really hard to put into words. Hopefully a description of my solution will help give a better understanding.

Basically, to solve this issue I now have made it so that the tiles that can be moved highlight themselves once the cursor hovers over them. If the player can slide a tile it highlights; if they can't, it does not highlight. This then discourages players from clicking on currently unslidable tiles in an attempt to move them.

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