This week (or maybe two), we reflected on what we learned.
First things first…
What went right?
The Rochester Mini Maker Faire was a huge success for not only Bull Horn Games, but for many other local Rochester game developers like BreadMachine, Aesthetician Labs, and many more.
Tons of people came to the faire (about 3,000), with the majority of them coming through the Arcade space right by the front door.
We used four Xbox One controllers with silicon covers on them for easy cleaning, and some stuff called Sugru to make sure the cables never fell out of them throughout the day. This worked very well, especially with the high number of kids that came to play.
I used Trello to keep my notes throughout the day, as well as some Unity Analytics hooks for info like what maps people picked, which abilities they used the most, and how many times the crown changed.
Along with meeting a lot of great people and hanging with other devs all day, I also got a lot of great feedback on the game as well.
People really liked the pace of the game and the player movement. The controllers being remapped to the bumpers for abilities also worked out really well, and opened up the main A B X and Y buttons for future use.
Everyone that played complemented the music in the game, as well as the art style of the levels. Shout out to Rowan Waring for keeping up with the awesome soundtracks!
Now on onto the good stuff…
What went wrong, and how are we gonna fix it?
The UI/UX of picking abilities was very confusing to people. People couldn’t tell which player they were on the selection screen, and sometimes had trouble in the game. To fix this, we are overhauling how the player selection screen works. Players will join in a clockwise fashion, based on who clicks first. Along with giving more feedback to the user visually and audibly when they select and change abilities.
When players chose darker colors, the crown was hard to see on top of their head. To fix this, we are gonna use an emissive property on the player who has the crown to make it especially obvious which person has the crown.
Along with this, some people had trouble following their character around in the chaos of the game. They would lose track of their character, or someone would be playing as the same color as them. To fix this, we are going to amke it impossible to choose the same color as another player. Along with give each player the option to select a custom icon and type in a three letter name. This all ties in with the UI and UX overhaul that we are doing, to make all this happen in a good and intuitive way.
PR is time consuming! I think that this is a struggle for a lot of smaller game devs, because keeping up this dev blog, keeping up on Twitter, is a lot of work! Unfortunately there isn’t really anything that we can do about this other then hiring a public relations person, but we don’t have the budget for that so… yea.
Finally, a lot of the general public doesn’t know what Itch.io is. This made it a little hard to explain to people where to get the demo.
So what are we doing moving forward?
We have a huge to do list for the next couple of months, but here are a couple of big goals that we have moving forward:
- Re-design the player selection UI
- Make a good looking menu screen
- Add accessibility settings (custom controller mapping)
- Give the player more identity with custom names and icons
- Online multiplayer for Steam
- Playtest, playtest, and then playtest again.
- After every change that is significant enough, we do internal and external playtesting. This is gonna be a huge part for rapidly coming up with a good design for the UI.
Alright, that’s it for this massive update from this week, we hope that you had a great Thanksgiving holiday!