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1026410 Posts in 41142 Topics- by 32744 Members - Latest Member: MetalPaper

July 24, 2014, 02:59:06 PM
TIGSource ForumsFeedbackDevLogsNitere - A Colour Matching Puzzle Game
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BilbyCoder
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« on: July 09, 2014, 03:21:28 AM »

So, most of the way through development and into the polish and test phase, I've decided to create a devlog for our game Nitere

About the game
Title: Nitere
Genre: Puzzle
Platform: Windows/Mac/Linux/Andoird/iOS (can you tell it's a unity game?)
Team: BilbyCoder - Design / Programming / Sound & Ledi - Design / Art / Sound
Description: Nitere is a colour matching puzzle game.  Players must direct beams of light around the board attempting to create links to score points.  The game is over if beams ever cross paths.



History of Development
This game has been in development for longer than I'd care to admit.  It has seen a major update in Unity, and I swear that I'll release it before it sees another.  That is not to say that this has been in constant development for all that time, it has been started and restarted.  We attempted to create the graphics in 3D, theme it after steam punk, thought about having little avatars push and pull pieces around the board, all sorts of crazy ideas.  Development was further complicated by the fact that I also work full time and Ledi had study to complete.

We tried to make it in flash then a brief stint of HTML5 until I finally settled on Unity as my primary game development environment.  We then started jumping from game idea to game idea, not focusing on one project to completion.

Last October, returning from GCAP I made the decision that I needed to stop jumping from game idea to game idea, knuckle down finish and release a game.  I talked it over with Ledi and we decided that game to focus on was Nitere.  So I restarted the project for the third time.

Where are we up to
I consider the game to be feature complete, apart from a few minor tweaks and additions.  I am happy with the game flow.  So all that is left is polish and bug testing.

Challenges
After putting the game up on the feedback thread (http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=41806.0) and getting a couple of responses the primary challenge I have identified is messaging.  We have heard a few times that people felt lost and aimless playing the game.  Not what we wanted.

After considering this over the last few days I think the problem is messaging.  Once we have talked to people and communicated our intention they have gone back to the game and often had a good time.

While most games will apply pressure on the player (the constant falling blocks in Tetris for example) our game does not, and is not intended to.  The player has freedom to play how they wish, taking easy low scoring moves or riskier high scoring moves as they wish.  There is no timer or time pressure in the game, no requirement to have all the beams link with nodes, no set puzzle to solve, and no need to use all the pieces in the inventory.

The aim of the game is focused on beating your personal bests.

Where the game is going
The solution we have come up with are two changes to the game.  The first is to add a section to the tutorial making these objectives clear.  The second is to add a section to the game over screen which highlights how many turns the player played, what the largest number of nodes cleared in a turn was and what their final points were.  A line highlights their best score in each category.

Hopefully these changes will add some sense of direction that the game has been lacking up to now.  I hope to have the changes implemented in the game this week, ready for reddit's feedback friday and an update to the feedback thread in this forum.

While the game is pre-release it can be played for free at http://binarysprite.itch.io/nitere.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2014, 03:09:09 AM by BilbyCoder » Logged

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Binary Sprite
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BilbyCoder
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 03:08:49 AM »

Well I have just started reading Clean Code by Robert C. Martin.  I then went in to start the final polish phase of my game.  My eyes still burn.

This is going to be the last week of feature development on Nitere.  The game itself has been stable over the two test releases I've put out there and now I need to figure out which last polish features I'll be trying to push in.

Of the 8 remaining issues in our issue tracker, one (eliminating the Unity Launcher) is being abandoned.  Cleaning up some of the wording in the tutorial / menu is non optional.  There are a few features remaining which the game can live without, but would be improved by including.  My week, once the real bugs have been sorted, will be spent trying to get as many of them as I can implemented.

The game will be going live on our itch.io page with a price!  At the moment the plan is to set a minimum price of $1.99 US.  This will be the games price on Android and iOS pending store approval.

For those of you reading this with experience of releasing small indie puzzle games to the wild, are there any other stores that you believe Nitere would be suitable for?  I'm searching around and reading threads on this and other forums, but it can sometimes be hard to tell if a storefront still exists and / or is trustworthy and will actually pay out should a miracle happen and we get sales.

What ever happens, I'm hoping that in two weeks I'll be making a final post to this thread proclaiming it done, and available to buy.

Game improvements made over the last week.
  • Added feedback to the sound effects slider
  • Changing the Music volume is reflected immediately in the game
  • Fixed aspect ratio issues in the web player and stand alone versions
  • The continue menu option does not respond to the user unless there is a game to continue
  • Updated the tutorial to include aims and to highlight game difficulty options in the options menu
  • Added extra score information to the game over screen
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 02:06:27 AM »

So this week has been an exercise in frustration.  My attempts to test Nitere on iPad failed, mostly by the iPad build crashing out as soon as it loaded.  Some research indicated that it was most likely caused by incorrect provisioning.  I also have had a bit of a mix-up with Sourcetree which may have destroyed an evening of work.  Fortunately it will be much less work to recreate what I may have lost.

The other major activity was getting all my various business accounts sorted out.  Paypal is now set up, ready for the flood of payments that'll come in when I release the game.

Soon I'm going to have PC, Mac, Linux and Android builds to put through a last round of testing before being put up into itch.io for sale.  As soon as I have the provisioning issues sorted I'll have the iOS build to test as well.  The end is in sight.

Fixes and Improvements:
  • The game now seeks confirmation when you hit restart
  • Click / Tap terms are now set properly depending on the style of device
  • When you change a colour in the options menu it now remembers the colour and shade settings next time you go into the options menu

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