Sunday, April 22, 2018

A/B Testing two Options

After about a month of various trips, from San Francisco to Boston to Milwaukee, I'm finally back to posting! It's been a long, long time. When I last left off, I was in the middle of trying to find a way to make it easier for players to make a series of quick charges while still giving them the time they need to accurately line up shots. I wanted the charge meter to fill up, pause, then fill some more, pause, and then finish filling. I'm not sure why this stumped me for so long, because I sat down with it for a few minutes today and just got it working:

After I got that working, I felt like the game was too sluggish. I increased the rate at which the player's charge meter filled and tried it again. I also decided to test a hypothesis that I had. Previously, if the player smashes into a wall, they're stuck charging until the charge runs out. It felt like an appropriate cost for what is a very powerful ability. But what if that was wrong? Because the missed shot is itself a failure, and because the charge is the main mechanic of the game, perhaps it's wrong to punish the player in this way. My hypothesis was that having your charge immediately end upon smashing into a wall would not only allow players more leeway in quickly charging across levels, but would make the game more fun to play overall without sacrificing the integrity of puzzles. Then I made a build for that mode of play:

My guess is that, while the three-step charge is cool, it's a little over-complex. The simpler solution of removing wall-stuns from the game is probably the best way to do things. Even if it's less cool from a UI perspective. 

All this fiddling with the charge mechanic is very unkind to my friend, who is working on the sound effects for that charge. So for now, the sound effect is still by Javier Zumer, which I am modifying and reusing under this license