[#9]LOAAD: Preparing for the Alpha
LOAAD = Life of an Alpha designer. Sounds bad but I wanted a more descriptive title for this blog. Now let's get into the day.
Changing how we do art for the group because the old art idea was ugly so I had to some backlog work to update stuff to the new artistic approach. Convinced everyone that modularity is the way to go.
Filip my design partner is the main level designer but that does not mean I don't do level design. I designed and grayboxed 2 levels.
I came up with a new way to make our game difficulty over time because the old way was just frustrating and cheap. Now what we will is making 2 versions of each level, one normal and another version that has the easy paths removed. This does not require more time on the programmers or artists' side because it can be done by us designers alone and we have a lot of free time.
Smashed some bugs in my personal game.
My group decided to rethink the way we should do art for our game. Before it was supposed to be very blocky but long story short it looked like shit some decided to still go for the blocky but with a more free approach to spice it up with some not square shapes and decoration that could stand out and be other shapes. However me being the Lead Designer I still tried steering my artist into going towards the more modular way and reducing the number of decorations because you don't actually need 23 different small rocks, 3-4 is enough because this is a fairly short project. As the lead, I had to change some backlog items, remove some and add some.
In this project, I sort of having a broad amount of design tasks but my fellow design partner Filip really likes the level design and that is his passion and I offered him the level designer role. So he has made 5 levels but I also like level design and want to have a go at it and so 1 level is from me and I also changed some stuff when updating one of Filips levels. I designed the level in a pixel art program, placing everything on a 2D picture so that I could use that as a reference in Maya and then I did the grayboxed the level.
When it comes to variety in our game we have a goal of 6 levels that are very different but today I came up with a way to scale difficulty because we are doing an endless runner and we have a target round playtime of 2-4 minutes so we have to somehow make players lose in a fair way. Increasing the speed of the camera feels cheap because it becomes impossible at some point but it is fairly easy so we at first decided to do that but today I came up with the brilliant idea that you can just take the existing levels and remove platforms and paths from them so the game becomes harder and this won't take away time from the programmers because we do this in Maya and it adds a shit ton of variety.
Preparing for the Alpha release of my own game Boss Souls Arena, just fixing a shit ton of bugs which takes time but it gets you some good laughs when you read through some code and wondering what you were thinking or omg how could I miss this little thing.