What’s up everybody? I just got back from PAX South 2017 and as usual it was a blast. The response? Nothing short of spectacular. As with every event I learn something new from watching people play ADHD and just like last year the amount of time and dedication I get from attendees just leaves me speechless. There are a ton of games and other things to be doing at PAX so it’s no surprise that the response I get from other game dev friends when I tell them this is how I playtest leaves them in a state of shock. Apparently most people don’t spend much time playing games on the show floor at length, let alone come back for another round. It’s kinda difficult for me to get playtesting done at home so I rely on every waking second I get with this large swath of people at these events. It’s also been proven that every event there is always that one person that breaks the game and finds a massive or at least consequential bug. What most people don’t know is that even if they don’t give me direct feedback just watching them play is enough for me to learn a fuckton about what is understood and what isn’t.
This is what leads me to second part of this post. Over that last couple of events I’ve been showing off an extremely early preview of what I was teasing as Mission EVA mode. This is the mode that I was hoping to incorporate into a Twitch mode. If you are live streaming the game your viewers would be able to send commands to the game that would alter the game. The programming involved in pulling this off is just a bit much for me to handle at the moment. So I’ve decided to scrap this idea, however there is one massive upside to this predicament. When I showed this mode to people they would lose their mind. It was so satisfying to watch their faces light up with fear/excitement/enter your adjective here. The emphasis is on “when” I showed that off. The mode is not built into the game proper yet. It was setup for me to just kind of show it when I needed to by using some clunky debug commands which meant a lot of players never got to see it. The game currently consists of three tiers. Tier 1 could be considered “easy” although I know many would disagree, with Tier 2 ramping up the challenge, and then Tier 3...well Tier 3 was incomplete. After watching people play they way they do, did, and have, in addition to their priceless reaction to Mission EVA, I’m fully convinced that Mission EVA (sans Twitch integration) should take the place of Tier 3 so that I can focus on getting this game out the door.. My goal now for PAX East is to have the feature in and fully implemented meaning I would be one step closer to feature complete which is one step closer to release.
I am just one guy. I dropped out of college to make this game. I have no programming or game design experience outside of the amount I have brute forced myself into, but I want to finish and release this game. I can always release the Boss Mode and Twitch Integration at a later time. I find it hella more important to get the game to feature complete and ready for a simultaneous release on Xbox One, PS4, and Steam (which is a massive undertaking already). As I have consistently said in the panels I’ve been lucky enough to host know your limitations, define your scope, and execute on them to the best of your abilities. It’s about time I take my own advice right? Here’s to 2017, the year that I finally release A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher.
P.S. - Yeah I did another Make Games Not Excuses panel. Now onto Boston. Third times a charm ;)