It’s been a while since we’ve written a blog post; everything has just been so hectic in the studio that we haven’t really had much time to write any. But now that the initial buzz from alpha 2.0 release has subsided, we are able to get back into the usual stream of work. Since the new release back in late August/early September, we’ve have loads of feedback and certain design changes are currently being tested to improve the initial flow of Glitchspace. One of the biggest issues that has haunted Glitchspace for the beginning is the first time user experience; having the player do and understand exactly what the designers want them to etc. With Glitchspace; getting them accustomed with both the mechanics and the interface quickly and seamlessly. It’s something that is a never ending job for designers and an especially large and important one for us at Space Budgie.
Attempts in 2.0 showed animated illustrations intended to demonstrate the possible interactions the player has with the nodes, however this was often found to confuse many play testers who believed them to be part of the actual puzzle. A lot of play testers were also not noticing the little axis widget in the bottom right. This was a big problem as a number of the puzzles hinged around players knowing which direction to translate or apply force. We therefore decided to approach the initial tutorials with a little more “brute force”. Currently testing in our R&D build, we are restructuring the initial stages with a step by step tutorial on how to use the interface as well as briefly teaching some of the basic functions and how they interact. The aim is to spoon feed this knowledge early, so that players can make intuitive conclusions later without our help. On screen help prompts are also being added to offer players a little more help with direction and we’re adding a little toggle-able help button that will explain certain nodes to the player should they need that extra information.
We’ve also been playing around with an exciting new feature that has been getting very positive feedback from play tester. We don’t want to give too much away just yet as we’re still refining the design but let’s just say it is an expansion on a feature that was briefly introduced in the alpha 1.8. We also have an exciting announcement coming up in the next few weeks regarding a release later this month, so be sure to keep an eye on our social media!