• Mike

Mobile Game Prototype: Additional Art and Preparing For Feedback

Updated: Dec 14, 2020

Hi everybody!


It's a fairly small update this week, as most of the focus has been around team management and preparing to receive feedback on the prototype now. There's been some new art, but it's unlikely much more will be added to the game now that we are entering the testing and feedback stage.


With that, let's jump in!


 

Arrows & Updated Art Assets


In the recent week and a half, I have had conversations with our level designer where we were bouncing ideas back and forth to add a dynamic twist to our game once you had cleared a few dozen levels. One idea I proposed that we tried working with involved the floor breaking whenever the player slid over the ice, eventually becoming water after the player had crossed over that tile twice. The only dilemma with this idea was that we would have to create paths in the level that required the player to cross over themselves multiple times, otherwise this would never be a threat.


Sensing that this would be too tedious to accomplish, I proposed an alternate idea to try. At a certain stage, a level would introduce black tiles that are holes in the floor - similar to how you would find fissures and crevices in ice caps. These are impassable, save for one spot where the character will automatically 'jump' over the gap to the other side. It might be easier to imagine something like a ski ramp that the character slides towards and over, which is what let's them jump across.


Since this is mostly going to be shown in the concept levels and possibly in our 5 harder levels (but may not be fully operational!), we've decided to just use arrow indicators for now. These will point in the direction of the one spot that the character can jump over if they are guided to there by the player.



I did a selection for the level designer to choose from to see which one seems to fit the bill the best. Originally, I used blueish and ice-like colours to match with our theme, but it occurred to me that this might make it harder to see the arrows in-game. As a colour-contrasting alternative, I made a fiery version that should definitely stand out in the levels. Another small adjustment I tried was to make the edges around the second arrow design thinner, just in case the thicker version was a bit too thick.


Our level designer had also brought up a small issue that they spotted with some of the assets I had created; most of them contained a background designed to work with snow, which made them look odd and very square in the actual scenes of our game. Fortunately, this was a quick fix, and should you be interested, you can find the background-less assets below!



The change is subtle, but the assets no longer have additional pixels around the edges and outer areas. I haven't given these any unique names since the IDs are the same as before.


 

Preparing For Feedback


Whilst we wait for the first build to be approved and made live on Google Play, I've created a short survey using Google Forms for the team and I to use to collect feedback from any play testers we are able to get. I'm awaiting input from the team to see if everything reads clearly or if there are any issues with the form. Once we have all agreed on it being ok, we will use it to get feedback from users that we can translate into our written reports for discussion on how we would make changes based on the comments we receive.


 

Closing Thoughts


That more-or-less covers activities for this week! Now that my classes have officially concluded for 2020, I'm hoping to get everything ready and prepped for this assignment to give myself some time to spend on other tasks. I think we are almost there with this, and once the Google Play Store has approved of the app and made it public, I'll be adding a link into the next blog following the approval - so keep your eyes open!


With that, thanks everyone for reading this update, and I'll see you next time - buh bye! :)

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