Hey everyone, Sam back again to tell you about the progress we made with our current build. We recently did a quick playtest in our capstone class and got a bunch of great feedback. For this iteration of the game, we wanted to test how successful we were at guiding the player to their objective using the environment (in essence, we were testing our level and environmental design). In our previous playtest, we realized that while many players praised the art in the game, the placement of said art left a lot to be desired and served to confuse the player on their objective. Thus, when designing the layout of the level, we decided to use tress in the forest as a natural barrier that guides players to a central location (i.e. the puzzles we want players to solve). Below is an example of this:
As you see, areas with a lot grass and a lack of tress highlight the 3 main puzzles, so the player will naturally be guided to them. It’s a subtle process the players go through, but an important one. Although no player’s mentioned it (which is actually a good thing because this means it is effective), the fact that players have little to no trouble figuring out what to next is a testament to the effectiveness of the level layout in guiding the player. Obviously, more iteration needs to be done, but it is a step up from our previous build. In terms of moving forward, there are two things we really need to address: reducing the penalty for failing a puzzle and improving the controls. These two elements are where most of the negative feedback came from and it is certainly valid. While you never can do in our game, often making a mistake means the player has to restart an entire puzzle again, which creates too much frustration when the intended mood is that of tranquility. Furthermore, the controls serve mostly in making the player make mistakes, so these both need to be addressed and are what we are going to focus on for the next iteration of the game.