Design Looking Forward

The game as initially released, what I gave to people to play test, had a few obvious flaws.

The menus were sort of hacked together, since I had built a better menu system that led to screens for deleted functionality. There also wasn’t a consistent visual design. The game is called Monochrome, and the intro and outro screens are monochrome. The game is for the most part monochrome, with instructions in grey to stand out visually. However, the credits screen and the title screen both have a medium light grey background, which is workable at best.

The music was also a poor choice. I wanted the game to have a slightly mellow thinking feel to it, but Chopin’s Spring Waltz just does not do the trick. After I had finished the game a friend who I was using to test the game suggested I use incompetech, the website, which I had never heard of. A quick perusal of the site let me know that this will be indispensable to my next project. It’s royalty free music, that isn’t terrible. In fact a lot of stuff is actually quite good. What’s more, while anyone can use Chopin’s music nowadays, the actual recorded playing of it is copyrighted, which means I would still have to licence the music or get permission from the rights holders. I only chose classical music because it is royalty free, and since it turns out the specific playing of the piece is still copyrighted, incompetech is the way to go.

Probably more seriously, the game could be almost completely beaten by hugging the walls at all times. As I detailed in the previous design post, I fixed this on hard by limiting the amount of time, but I felt it would be unfair to players who were poor at the game to give them the same time limit, so it still exists at normal and easy. What I could have done, and probably should have done, is to create a barrier on the inside of the arena at the edges that steadily drained health if the player was in that area, possibly giving the player a 1 or 2 second grace period before damaging them. I already had implemented something similar to this, also called barriers in code, that simply repelled the player, but I did not have time to implement the health drain in the game, and so I had to do with the decreased time limit doing that as a side effect. Inelegant.

The next game I make will be very similar, building on this game, with many different game modes, and the player with a means of offense, probably through a gun. I’ll detail that game soon, just after I finish the programming posts.

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