Previous week we worked a lot on the game. Deadline did its job pretty well. On Thursday we had a chance to show Wooplex to people from WPI on a little indie games showcase.
We learned a lot from that event and we would like to share some of the mistakes we made.
1. We created a “nice” demo that had 20 levels.
The difficulty of the levels is growing just like the level design teaches you to do. We cover all the mechanics gradually, showing them one by one not to confuse people. So you may ask what is wrong here?
Some of the things that people like the most start late in the game (on the level 15 or so). That means nothing but the bridge of 15 levels between the player who takes the device and enjoys those mechanics. The atmosphere of such events is always a mess. People are walking from table to table and they cannot play the game for more than 5 minutes for a lot of reasons. Sometimes there may not even be a place where to sit and they will play it standing. It is very disappointing to see people going away without even seeing something that you were doing and polishing for so long.
2. Attracting people to your table is important.
Take some air balloons and clown’s costume and that will do the job! Just kidding, but still having just a game you would like to share is not enough. You should think how people walking by are going to see your phone laying on the table ready to play. Broadcasting what is going on the phone on bigger screen is a great idea. Having several devices to play the game is also a great idea.
3. Our first level was the most difficult level.
Yes. Level “Who am I?” that is on youtube and looks so easy is actually not. The amount of time to complete it for a newcomer is unbelievably huge. People do not get the controls of the game when they just take the device and that is the problem.
One of the reasons why that happened is because we decided not to stick with regular joystick. We think that it just ruins the atmosphere and it is not necessary. We’ve failed to make it intuitive to control, also we haven’t made a tutorial.They were tapping it, swiping it, turning the phone around, only a few managed to control it.
Controls are simple. There is invisible floating joystick pretty similar to Limbo on the iPhones. That’s it. Everything else is controlled by touching it directly.
We decided not to change the control system but to visualize it in the correct way. We hope it won’t break the atmosphere 🙂
Check it out and please let us know in the comments what do you think about it. Thanks!