O ne of the aspects of game development that is very difficult to predict is the way that players will receive and experience the game you’ve built. The spectrum of experiences is so wide that it can be difficult to centralize feedback from multiple sources. In this Devlog, we hope to share our experience with you!
It was Friday afternoon, and we (developers) just crossed off our final task on the development to do list. We were finally DONE our demo and were content with the outcome. But being builders only grants us a limited perspective and eliminates the novelty experience a first time user might feel. Because of this, we had to get our friends and family to start playing our game and give us feedback. Most of the feedback was positive, but, we needed to hear something better than positive, we needed to hear negative feedback.
To get some unbiased opinions, we decided to attend a game testing and showcase night in our home city of Philadelphia. We met many interesting developers and game industry personnel who were excited to check out our game. It was new and exciting for us to share our creation with actual gamers and developers. We had roughly 12 users run through our demo over the 90 minutes and received some valuable feedback which we wanted to share with you below!
Negative feedback is either very constructive if taken that way or horribly skewed due to the player’s game sense and/or experience level. The following list is a compilation of feedback we had repeatedly received and have evaluated on the dev side of things (Is this something we should fix? How can
we fix this or work around it? Is it too hard or is the player just not experienced enough as a gamer to figure it out?, etc…).
- Players don’t realize they have stamina and get frustrated by it running out so fast. Solutions include flashing the stamina bar when it is low, showing it to them at the start with an arrow or pointer or allowing the players to still attack but it doing a fraction of the damage.
- Damage numbers are a bit confusing since the color red comes off the enemies and should come off the player when he is hurt. Solution is to swap the colors of the enemy and player damage. (Red <—> White)
- Testers were irritated by the lack of tell before a small enemy would use its attack, especially when there are a lot of them around. Solution is to create more of a buildup or indication before the attack happens and allow the player more time to dodge. We feel, however, that MoS is a game that requires the player to pay close attention to animations and timing so this is also something that we consider.
- Some users requested some way of knowing the health of smaller enemies either by a health bar or some other indicator. Solution is to have this as a passive ability trait in a skill tree.
- Combat has received some negative feedback in terms of its fluidity and responsiveness. We are looking into this and will report on it at a later date.
If anyone else has any more feedback or comments, we would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Be sure to follow our development process at http://www.facebook.com/maskofsemblance.