Week 10 – Beta Sprint

Progress for A Hunter’s Tale is looking great right now with more and more art assets being finalized and imported into the game. Our programmers also aided the visuals a lot by adding SFX from the Unity Asset Store, and we’ve also finally added sound into the game! Here’s what the planning phase looks like right now—it’s pretty impressive how much good work our Artists have churned out since Alpha:

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Our main feedback from the Alpha playtest session was that while game mechanics were fun, they were hard to understand. Being primarily a Strategy game, this game is information-intensive, and the need to convey all these information to the player is not an easy one to fulfill. Hence for this sprint, while the designers continued work on refining some game mechanics, more focus was put into designing for the User Experience (UX) as well.

This means that we finally started designing for the tutorial—a role which I took on this time. As much as we would like to integrate a playable tutorial seamlessly weaved into our game, we had to eliminate this option due to time constraints. In the end, we opted to display the required information as the Player enters each screen instead. While this was less immersive, it is an option that still works pretty well. I listed down all the information that the player needs to know in order to plan for the game, organized them into digestible chunks, then slotted them into the appropriate phases in the game. This is a process that requires a lot of playtesting to get right, and from what we see so far, this still needs more work during the next Sprint. An example of a tutorial screen is shown below:

05_tutorial.png

Russell (Game Designer) continued to design for the various Character Skills, ensuring that they were both balanced and also fun for the player. Boss AI and skills were also re-balanced to provide a more engaging experience for our players.

Many thanks to our programmers who managed to implement all these features (Character Skills, Boss AI, Boss Traits, Habitats) in time for the Beta playtest yesterday! We are still in the midst of consolidating the feedback, so check back soon to find out what changes we’ll make to the game from here on.

Signing off,
Brandon
_NaNicStudios Game Designer / Producer

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