It’s been one long summer, leading up to one intense week. Tactical Twitch has not been in development for more than two months; however, it is the project that has come about from the last few years of game prototyping, and working with Unity.
This past week marked the first time I’ve let a group of folks get hands on with one of my projects, without my direct guidance. I’m nowhere near the final product yet, but I can finally see the light. I currently have around 30 registered users in a private forum for communicating about the test. The individuals were hand picked based on my understanding of their application/game testing knowledge, or a desire to see what things look like in early development.
The testers were asked to watch a 7 minute introductory video, and follow along with update posts before testing and commenting. With a couple of exceptions, most of the testers did that.
The current phase of development consists of component testing, not final game-play. To be more specific, this was a test of the player controls/abilities. The feedback was nearly all constructive. Most individuals agreed that my key layout wasn’t ideal, and helped me converge on something that would be a little more familiar to gamers. There were also some good pointers on areas where functionality breaks, or doesn’t function as expected. I’ve spent so much time with the code that I would forget to retest certain functions after adding new ones.
For example, somewhere in the last week or two I introduced a bug that allowed the sprint ability to go through walls, I didn’t think to try sprinting through walls again after I first found it to work. Testers also tried things I’d never even bothered to think anyone would do. For example, one tester spammed (rapidly repressed) the sprint ability without holding it down, or releasing as intended. The result was the Titch eventually moved off the screen and the camera couldn’t catch up to him.
As great as all of the feedback has been. I also have to admit it’s gut wrenching. I have something I’ve been working very hard on. I’ve got it just the way I like it, the way I would want to play it. Then I have it torn apart in front of me. All of it’s flaws that I’ve been blind to are exposed. After taking in the feedback and regrouping my thoughts, I’ll be moving forward with a positive attitude. Mainly because the things torn apart can be fixed (a number of them have already been fixed). The game concept itself seems sound, and everyone has a generally positive opinion on the final product.
I just have to work out the kinks, finish the art and UI design… and add audio.
For now, I’m not going to talk publicly about game play. You can enjoy these screenshots, and I do look forward to the near future where I reveal all. Please remember, these screenshots are no where near complete on art or UI. They should not be taken as a representation of the final product.