Wednesday, April 13, 2011

2011 Spring Semester Playtest Session 7

The camera does not lock-on to the back of the car
There are still issues with the camera. Testers are still bothered by the fact that the camera does not stay behind the car. This was mainly done to not make the car snap to looking in front of the car when it is going in reverse but it is probably something we will have to revisit. In switching the camera to act in this way, we can possibly playtest having the right joystick be used for doing tricks rather than camera control. Other than camera issues, testers were having trouble with remembering the car's control scheme. Basically to mitigate this the game needs to give feedback to the player when they need to do something, such as popping up a tip when the player needs to back-up or when they need to boost to get over a jump. These are little things that can make a player's experience more enjoyable as the tips are helping the player learn the control scheme. Some testers mentioned that the tricks were hard to pull off. This is true as there is not a system in place that helps the player complete a trick. This system is needed to make the trick system feel right to the player. The physics programmer knows about this system and will work on it, but to make this system we need some other technology to be created to make it work. Basically a line that follows the track. This is so at any point in time we know where the track is. This will help with setting up a lot of other systems as well, such as an arrow system that points to the track when the player is flying.
Failed tricks happen more often than not in Nitronic Rush
Testers also mentioned that the announcer should be more predictable, or at least make more sense. Right now the announcer will basically say random things when the player completes a trick and when they crash. Player's wanted the announcers sayings to match what is happening on the screen. So if the player were to crash into a wall the announcer may say "Stonewalled" or something along those lines. That is about it for tester feedback, but I also noticed some issues with the game that testers did not mention. One of the biggest issues that I noticed is that the heat meter just gets in the way of the fun in our game. To mitigate this issue the heat meter is going to switch to being a heat more akin to the plasma gun in Halo. Basically, this means that the car will not blow up when the player reaches a full heat meter; the car will just not be able to boost until the heat meter is fully cooled off. I also noticed that testers were not using the trick system at all. This may be due to the unintuitive controls so for the next playtest I will be changing the trick controls to the right joystick. That is everything that came of this playtest and I hope to continue doing these playtests into the summer. Thanks for reading.

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