Last, we did our first playtest! This was way, WAY overdue, but we wanted the first test build to at least sorta represent our vision. As anyone who makes games, or really any type of creation, it is often hard to give your creation to someone else, especially if it’s a work in progress. But getting someone else, preferably someone from your target audience, to play your game can often give you valuable information. So we finally pulled the trigger and gave 5 pairs of testers a selection of three levels to play through.
The results were both interesting and not very surprising. The first big issue right now is that our AI is sorta dumb. This, we knew and is going to be addressed in a later sprint. Why not now, you ask? This ties in to the next big issue; our players are unaware of one of our core mechanics.
This core mechanic is what the team calls the light/darkness mechanic. When making a stealth game, one of the logical things is to use light, or the lack thereof, as a means to avoid detection. We had implemented this by giving a guard 2 different sizes of vision cones; one for in light, and one for in darkness. However, this was not quite clear to the players. When asked about their opinion on the mechanic, one of the playtesters simply responded “Light/Darkness mechanic??”.
So… we’re killing our darling. We held a design meeting and after arguing for way too long, we settled on a way to overhaul the light/darkness mechanic. When we finish the system I’ll try to post a before/after.
I’ll leave you with a info graphic I made because I was bored. It might not mean a lot to you if you’re not part of the team, but I like it.