Feedback and Polish

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Well, it’s hard to believe, but there’s only one week of classes left. This semester has been even more of a blur than the first one. For my part, I don’t have much left to do other than make sure the game gets done before next Tuesday, the day of EAE Fest. We have almost all the pieces in place now, so we just need to playtest and polish our butts off before we present our alpha build to a wider audience.

Last Friday, Laurie and I brought the game to the ACM playtest session in the Union. Even though the game was basically broken for a couple hours, a handful of outsiders played the game and gave us some good feedback. Perhaps the most surprising thing to me was people had trouble discerning where the guards were using the binaural audio. Laurie and I speculated that people with poor hearing will probably have a harder time playing the game, but overall we still need to make utilizing the binaural sounds very easy and accessible.

We had our studio build reviews¬†this Tuesday, so Blake and I presented a new build that was finished about 10 minutes prior to the presentation time. Still, the build was much better than what we showed for the ACM gig last week. We got a lot of comments about our new theme (child soldier in Colombia) and how that should be reflected in the gameplay. It’s almost too late to make any major changes in the game, but we’ll definitely keep in mind that feedback moving forward. I’m most interested in seeing how the game tests for the large, diverse audience we’ll have during EAE Fest.

I’ve been trying to get every team member’s summer plans this week so we know what we can do over the summer. Again, most the summer work will be playtesting and fixing bugs, but perhaps there will be other opportunities for us to improve the game. At the very least, I can come up with more graph paper designs. Even if those never see the light of day, they are a worthwhile exercise for me to develop as a level designer.

After all the experiences and obstacles I’ve gone through these past two semesters, I’m becoming more and more certain that what I really want to do is design levels professionally. I still want to be a great producer too, but it’s nice to know I have some ¬†interests, and, perhaps, talents outside of that. Whatever I end up doing this summer, I’ll be sure to document it here. See you on the next level!

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