Monthly Report #6 – June 2016

Prototype has been finished

This was crazy month with the progress we’ve made. All required tasks from last monthly report were done. Everyone put so much energy to meet deadlines. It was so encouraging watching the whole team’s activity this month. Hell, we just wanted to finally get the prototype in other hands. The most important issues of this month are listed below:

● The build weighs 750MB now. It is a satisfying result after seeing last month’s 2,7GB.
● Pathfinding has been finished – for prototype at least. It is still far away from final game performance.
● Graphics and sounds are done. The scene is very dark and we get some comments that it is too dark on screenshots. We are aware of that and we’re curious how the scene will look like on different monitors etc. For the final product enabling brightness settings etc. is a no-brainer.

Even though we’ve finished the prototype this month, no one from our tester-list played it yet. Why?

Level design errors

In the process of development, we focused so much on completing different tasks that we kinda missed the core of the actual gameplay that we wanted to achieve. After hours of testing, our skill increased so much that the level design went out of control. The game was too quick, too action-packed, too difficult – too “not what we wanted it to be”. We desired different mechanics than those which we’ve ended up with. We wanted the game to be difficult, but in an enjoyable fashion – not because it’s just simply difficult. So we decided to expand the gameplay a little bit and put another 2 weeks of development to achieve required type of enjoyment. By expanding the gameplay, I mean dealing with…

AI dullness

The behavior of spiders is too normal, too ordinary. We saw such mechanics in thousands of hack&slash games. This does not satisfy us. Sapu is not another hack&slash tutorial, remember? Currently spiders perform only standard melee attacks. We want them to at least jump on Sapu when in range, hell we want them to think and react! Ok I guess we want to slow down our horses too, cause right now there are only 3 of us in which only Sarseth do the programming. However, such (rather) simple task as spider jumping ability enables us to achieve a huge goal – player will have to calculate which skill to use in different situations. Sometimes even small adjustments change gameplay drastically, so we’ll see how it goes.

Deadlines

We postponed prototype premiere several times now. It sucks we know that. I think it’s just how it needs to be right now, with the lack of our experience with almost anything we create for Sapu. But you know what’s funny? Deadlines played a huge, positive role on development. We’ve put much more energy to meet our goals, we progressed much faster. It’s funny cause it’s not like publisher or boss is standing behind us saying scary things if we don’t meet deadlines. We put them on our own. Human brains are tricky bastards. I’m sure that, we would be far behind of where we’re at right now if those self-injected deadlines weren’t capitalized. So we’ll stick to them and will (probably) be late many more times 🙂

What’s next?

After releasing the prototype (next week? 🙂 ), we want to create another scene which will be a little bit brighter – mainly for screenshots (maybe it’s time to do some gifs?) purposes. In the meantime we’ll analyze results of our prototype surveys. We’ll get much needed opinions and comments and then we’ll adjust some things according to them.

Then we’ll move on to create sort of Vertical slice version of the game meaning that the main focus we’ll put on next Sapu skills and mobs behavior.

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Followers

I’m giving up with website stats. Too many bots that mess up statistics. I don’t want to loose too much time making filters and all this crap. If you have any suggestions how we could measure website’s popularity, let us know! However, I’ll add a newsletter subscribers metric. This should be our most important metric… so I guess we have a lot to learn 🙂
followers-june

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