Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Running Beer player feedback from Assembly

During Assembly, we already received feedback from the players. Most players do enjoy the game (rate it 9 or 10) but what is quite alarming, more than half of players say that they did not play all the levels and finish the game. Is it because the game is too difficult?

We only had very limited number of playtesters outside of the team, so we couldn't really balance the difficulty almost at all. That is why we made the levels menu and all levels available already before passing the game once. It should be noted, that the levels are designed so that using powerups is pretty much mandatory in order to pass them. And by the way: there are more powerups than is shown on the video! Has anyone found them?

Because we made the game in just 3 weeks for the Assembly competition, we had to make some fundamendal design changes to what we had originally planned Running Beer to be. Most of the things many comments point out are known issues or features that are already planned and will be implemented differently in the final version.

One comment was about the buggy/inconsistent guards. As the commenter actually sort of guessed already, that is a feature. We wanted make the AI more fun than realistic, so for example the guards do not react to anything else Ykä does inside the shop, like havocking the whole vegetable section, or the cashier just is totally clueless and does nothing to stop the player. This, however, is something that will work differently in the final version, where there is lot more progression in the difficulty, like different types of guards with better senses, faster speed and different equipment, other customers with the ability to call for the guard if they see Ykä taking beer and the cashier using pepper spray to stop Ykä

Another comment was about the time limit and if it is needed at all. It is definitely one of the things we need to work on. The Assembly version of the game contains pretty much all the mechanics stuffed together in all the levels. The original idea was to make different play styles possible and also encourage (read: force) the player to play different levels using different styles. For example, someone might utilize a lot of powerups and simply rushs towards the exit (when the time limit really doesn't matter that much), while someone might prefer sneaking around guards without being seen or heard (where the time limit makes things difficult). But as said, we are now going to take the game back onto the design desk and start testing the mechanics thoroughly.

In one very positive comment there was also a demand to put Running Beer into Steam Greenlight and make Steam Workshop available for player made maps. We won't make any promises at this point, but we'd be lying if we said that we haven't thought about it! :)

The form remains active and we keep checking the feedback regularly, so if you have any comments you can post them using it, or directly e.g. via email.