So the end is in sight on this “little” game. I still plan to release it in March, but with all the porting and app-store approval processes and final wrapping up it will be a close call!
The game will come with a sort of story-mode, and I’ve been doing a lot of play-throughs of the game from start to finish the last few weeks. Basically the game unlocks itself as you play and become a better player. So you have only one weapon and one world to play in, but as you progress you quickly open up new worlds, new weapons, power-ups, but also new enemies and challenges.
I like to think this is a fun way to reward players that stick with the game even after a first glance or gameplay session, and it’s also a great joke to pull on “game journalists” who don’t really take the time to review games but rather just write about them and move to the next one.
The game will give you a lot when you first start it, but it really starts to shine the more time you put into it. This is a bit risky since there might be many players who just quit the game after finding defeat in the first few rounds, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take for the full result that the game has turned into.
This, however, does mean a lot of balancing is required to make the game open up at a nice pace. I don’t want great gamers to run through the Story mode in just 5 or 6 play sessions, but I also don’t want the Story mode to be impossible for the more average gamers.
For example, after my last few sessions I had to tweak the unlocking of three weapons (delaying two of them, and moving one of them to a bit earlier in the game). I had to make a few of the enemies shoot more damaging bullets, because they are basically looking cool but harmless. And of course after these, individually, small changes.. I have to retest the complete game because it does change the amount of damage you can do or can receive while trying to reach the ending.
That’s basically what I’ve been doing for days now, with one of the upsides that I still enjoy diving into the game, so the gameplay is enjoyable enough to last a long time.. even after you complete the Story mode ;)
Meanwhile Gavin is working on the music, with the first track done (and it’s very catchy!) and I’m looking into some voice-acting for the animations, which is a new thing for me to work with, but if it all works out I might not go back and have to add it to all my games from now on! :)