Weekly Update – March 22, 2024

I stuck to the demo MVP scope and accomplished more than I planned this week.

  • Play Test 3. Play Test 3 involved two new players, an 18-year old who plays RPG and strategy games, and a 12-year old who plays 3D shooters and sports games. Neither player has experience with traditional roguelikes. The 18-year old quickly figured out how to play because of the gameplay similarities to turn-based RPGs. That was not the case for the 12-year old! He tried to play the game as if it were real-time, and was surprised and confused when the first enemy he encountered made short work of him. It was illuminating to watch him play. He’s not part of the target demographic but I can still learn a lot from him in terms of making the game easier to learn and play. Some of the common usability issues players experienced in the previous play test were issues for the new players as well, for example equipping weapons using Quick Switch Slots rather than the Inventory Panel. I think an interactive tutorial is needed to teach the unconventional mechanics.
  • Minimap. A map of the level (what the player has seen of it) can now be viewed. Each map cell is represented by a 4×4 sprite, typically a solid color. It reminds me of an Atari 2600 game but it’s functional.
Minimap
  • New sound effects. 10 new sound effects were added, including bear growls, items breaking, destroying webs, and Stalagmite Monsters waking up. I also added existing sound effects to entities that were missing them, such as the drinking sound effect for puddles.
  • Miscellaneous improvements
    • Message displayed in Inspect Panel when the player needs to be closer to the entity being inspected to view its contents.
    • Item degradation for ranged weapons. Shooting a bow now degrades the bow.
  • Bug fixes
    • Take All button appears in Inspect Panel when player is not adjacent to the entity being inspected.
    • Cursor action text appears when modal text prompt is showing.
    • Drinking from Healing Fountain doesn’t heal the player.
    • Skeleton Archers animated from bone piles are missing starting equipment.
    • The player can’t take the contents of a container when diagonally adjacent.onally adjacent.
    • Fear and Charm arrows miss every time.
    • The game locks up when an enemy has nowhere to move.

Next week, I’ll address the common UI/UX issues revealed during Play Tests 2 and 3. I’m debating adding a simple tutorial to the demo. I’ll give that some thought over the weekend. Next week, I’ll also add more sound effects and fix bugs.


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