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Development Update – Midwest Game Developers Summit

This past weekend, I attended the Midwest Game Developers Summit in Wisconsin. Drove up from Chicago with a couple of other local developers.

I was exhibiting Relativity there, so didn’t get to go to too many of the talks. On a side note, Lemma, another game with a devlog here on TIGForums was there as well, and I got to try it out. Very fun.

The response overall for Relativity was quite positive and I got some very useful feedback. The most important is that I finally figured out how to deal with a problem that had been bothering me for quite some time, specifically, how to guide the player once they’re in the “exterior” area. While this part looked extremely cool, with all the architecture twisting and turning, and staircases in every direction, it was extremely easy to get lost. Some players, usually the ones more experienced with puzzles games and first-person perspective, would be fine, but far too many would get stuck here. This was very evident especially when playtesting during conventions and festivals, because it’s at this point that players would stop and leave.

Before:

relativity_01

After:

relativity_02

Notice that in the first picture, it is much more cluttered: the green box on the right side pushes into the frame, and the tree (w/ the translucent grey leaves) is blocking a good portion of the view. Also notice that there are more things in the center in the upper area. Having things directly above the player in this area was problematic, because some players would fall off, and proceed to land in the area directly above where they fell. Instead of realizing that the world repeats itself, players would think they had landed in a different ‘world’ altogether. By moving the above area off to the side, now when players fall, they’re much more likely to land near where they fell off, thus realizing that the world they’ve landed on is a replica or the same world as the one they fell from.

Here’s a comparison of another area:

Before:

relativity_03

After:relativity_04

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