Welcome back for another state of the game! I don’t have a build ready to go for this week, but I did want to talk about what I have been up to.
As you can tell from the title of the post, I have been doing some critical thinking about some of the game design choices I have made up until this point. Now that the player base has grown and people are playing the game more and more, I have been able to observe player behaviors and start seeing how that holds up to my design theories.
Here are some of the choices I have started to look at.
Siege Mode is Broken
In it’s current form, siege mode is not working as intended. There are several changes I will be making to the game mode, but the first big change will be the buildings.
The buildings will no longer be a part of the siege game mode. Instead, the deployment of buildings will be tied to a special auxiliary part that can be equipped and managed like all the other M.A.V. parts.
While this seems like a small change, it actually has drastic impacts. Before, having the ability to deploy buildings tied to a players current money caused massive issues if the base money amount was raised. This was something many players wanted, as they wanted the ability to use all the current parts. Now with a massive amount of money, building deployment became massively overpowered, leading to nobody using it.
Further more, tying the number and type of buildings you can deploy to specific parts, further enforces role type strategies.
This also comes with the great side affect that building deployment will be available in Arena mode as well.
As I worked on the new system, I also spent some time improving the feedback when placing buildings. Check out this development picture to see it in action.
Arena Mode Needs Multiplayer
As I mentioned above, players want to use ALL the parts, and play in multiplayer. This is exactly the role arena mode is meant to fill, but it’s not there yet.
Arena mode will be getting multiplayer, a scoring system, optional team play, and the addition of being able to deploy buildings. This should help establish arena mode as the ‘instant action’ mode and allow siege mode to become the more strategy based ‘competition’ mode.
UI and Controls Polish
This one is marginally related to the previous two issues, but I feel the current UI does a poor job of being intuitive to new players and the controls system is currently ‘not good’.
Right now, I would say 50% of the issues that get brought up with me relate back to controls. More specifically, not being able to properly customize them. I completely agree with this, and I have been taking the steps needed to make sure the control system is 100% customizable and easy to setup with various controllers and joysticks. This means migrating away from the default engine provided system and integrating a custom solution.
With this, I need a great UI. It didn’t make sense to integrate the new control system into the current UI, since I am far from happy with it. With a UI update, it will also allow me to address another prevalent complaint, compatibility with different screen sizes and aspect ratios.
I will be integrating a FULL settings customization screen, allowing you much greater control over all the graphical settings and making sure the UI adapts in a way that makes sure everyone has the same experience with M.A.V.
I know this post is not as much fun as a new build, but these are all very big tasks. I prefer to hold a build back and make sure I can deliver quality content, instead of just putting out a build I am not fully happy with.
I have also looked into exploring a snapshot build system, allowing you to choose to upgrade to potentially unstable builds to help bug test (and always have the newest stuff) and only releasing the stable versions out as primary builds. I would love to hear your feedback on the message board!