The King is Dead Analysis

Posted by (twitter: @NoLevelCap)
January 5th, 2016 12:45 pm
How well did I do?
I think did reasonably well this time round. Better than I expected. I achieved a task i thought impossible with this game; to get into the top #100 in a category. This was the first time I have worked in 3D, made a game in Unity, and coded in C#. Ultimately I wanted to show that I had improved in my year out. This table shows my performance over the last two years (4 events participated in):
What could I have done better?
The statistics show that I could have done better in the Fun category, ignoring the Humor and Mood categories which are non-core categories. My innovation score has improved drastically in two years.
These are the specific improvements from the feedback I got from players.
  • A bug which lead to the army size to go below zero.
  • A long and steep (for ludum dare games) learning curve.
  • The inability to move forward in some situations.
  • Lacked sound and feedback to the player.
  • The reasoning for the battle system was arbitrary and confusing.
Here are the areas I could have improved.
  • The graphics. The graphics do not have a unified theme throughout the game. I could have added some more animations.
  • A interactive tutorial. While I did manage to make a tutorial it was not clear enough.
  • Added in audio feedback and music.
  • The game design lacked basic balancing. The other buffs had little effect compared the the advantages of moving forward.
What was done well?
The statistics show that I had significantly improved in the innovation and theme categories, despite this I still remain that this game is the same or even less innovative and as tied with the theme as Molyneux God.
These are the pieces of positive feedback I got from other players.
  • RadMcCool said that he liked the “weird dissonance” of the game and between it’s move set.
  • MorganLeFay stated he enjoyed that it was a “Very complex game”.
  • PowerSpark remarked that it kept him “hooked!”
  • Neoludo thought that I had “invented a new board game”.
While these are lovely to read it is often easier to give positive feedback than negative and constructive criticism.
These are the areas I think that I did well.
  • The 3D graphics were good to look at. Especially with my first time to properly use Anti-Aliasing.
  • I thought the game was several times simpler than my last two.
  • It was accessible to web users, making it quicker and easier to play in the Ludum Dare playing environment.
  • It had depth despite being somewhat simple in it’s control. A challenge of the theme I chose.
  • I managed my time somewhat effectively.
What have I learnt?
While I succeeded on making a game with proper elements of strategy where the player had to think about their actions. Despite this the lack of a concrete tutorial has led some people to struggle at getting the full enjoyment out of the game (See here.) I can work on the way I teach mechanics to people and the way those mechanics interact. A uniformity of graphics and lack of balancing is arguably something that can be improved on if I had a longer development cycle. A simpler or clearer level of complexity would improve how fun the game was.
Are you going to continue development, and how would you continue to improve it?
I doubt I will continue development on this unless I were to be shown that people like the game enough, if I were to though, I would improve this game by taking the following actions:
  1. Remove the tutorial and replace it with an interactive tutorial which contains a character to allow me to speak to the player. This would allow me to include the story and relate it back to the gameplay despite the abstract graphics.
  2. Address the disparity between the text and the UI and the styling of the 3D models.
  3. Balance the other buffs / debuffs, making them as useful to the game as the “Move 1 Forward” Buff.
  4. Restructure the Battle system, possibly including an animation of the two armies fighting – which can be skipped.
  5. Animate the game. I think this would add bundles of character to the game.
  6. Transition it to a mobile platform.
These would be the step I would take to improve the game given the critism levied on it.

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