23. Heading towards a Test Build

Sadly, also didn’t have a ton of time to work on the game this week. Just the day job and me getting hit with a wave of depression, as I sometimes do.

But, I did get a few hours in over the weekend.

Part of what I decided is that I need to get a build out to testers as soon as possible, and that I felt like that was a goal post that kept moving. So the simplest way I could think to get things going in the proper direction was to make a prioritized task list for finishing a build.

I set up the task list in trello and have just been wailing away at it gradually. It might be fun to mention a few of the less obvious tasks that need to be done.

The first task was that since I moved the input method to a point and click system, I needed to implement a virtual cursor so that the game is playable with a controller. This was not too complicated, but there is a lot of room for improvement in the overall feel of the cursor. 

A secondary thing that the game has needed for a while now is some sort of in-game tutorial. Although I do plan on having a real developed sequence that teaches the player how to play in a streamlined fashion, for now it seemed good enough to just put some text floating around near the start of the game. I just don’t want testers to have to leave the game and look at the controls, as many times they forget to do that sort of thing.

The next big task that needs to be done before I can ship a build to testers is that I have to audit all the existing puzzles and make sure that the entire game is properly playable with the new interface. As of the moment, I know of at least one sequence of puzzles that will need some reworking. I don’t have a really elegant solution for fixing them but I do have something in mind that will work.

The problem comes in that with the old input method, the player had to be able to reach a certain tile in order to interact with a panel, and now they are free to interact as long as they can see it. For some of these interactions, simply powering down panels until the player solves the required puzzles will work, but for others, I still need the player to be in a certain area when they are working, and the only solution that I can think of there is just to still have a tile which the player stands on, and the panel is only accessible or unlocked when the player stands there.

Couple other things that I would like to have in the next build, one of which is the dot puzzles you’ve been seeing. Hopefully I can get this done in a couple weeks, at least at the current rate.

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