Sunday, September 24, 2017

RE: Cursive Design

I always love going to gaming meetups and getting some testing done. It's gratifying to see changes that I've made begin to have their intended effect, and it's motivating to see the problems that I still need to fix, and the tweaks that need to be made to increase the effectiveness of other features. There's no new build this week, but I thought I would share some of the notes I took this weekend:

  • Players are finding it difficult to aim at 90 degree angles
  • The movement of the player arrow is simultaneously too sticky and too slippery.
  • Mouse dexterity is a skill that needs to be taught. I can't ask too much of the player off the bat without teaching them things such as how to be comfortable moving the mouse as you fling yourself forward
  • The levels I have which intend to teach players mouse dexterity are still too hard. Players understand what they must do, but it's taking them too long to do it.
  • The yellow line which predicts the player's attack path should always be accurate. In the case of moving objects, it's often inaccurate because objects will have moved in the interim. I might freeze moving objects while the player is charging to prevent that.
I believe I need to just scrap the way the player currently moves and do something simpler instead. Pushing the player with physics results in a really natural flow, but unfortunately it's not good for stopping on a dime. The current way that I make the player stop on a dime also causes the player's acceleration to feel abrupt and uncomfortable.

The first thing I want to do to address the problem of mouse dexterity and players being unable to aim at clean 90 degree angles is to give the mouse cursor a makeover. If the mouse cursor were easier to see all the time, then I believe that players would have better control over their attacks. I'm considering also adding a dotted line that always draws to where the mouse is. this might clash with the yellow extendable line which predicts the player's attack path though. A second thing which would help would honestly be to just put objects in the level which encouraged the player to go to a specific position and look in a specific direction. Maybe just a spotlight would do.

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