This past sprint I finished up the Call to Action work and started creating easier versions of the existing levels in the game.
Sprint 49: Release criteria
Planned and Complete:
- Make mailing list CTA more prominent
- Create training level version of existing 1st level
- Create training level version of existing 2nd level
- Create training level version of existing 3rd level
Planned and Incomplete:
- Create training level version of existing 4th level
Not Planned and Incomplete:
- Level Selection previews level details
- Defect: Dispenser bonus menu can show different amount than what player is rewarded with
I got a bit of an early start, knocking out the Call To Action work and even getting the new first level work finished on Sunday.
So the idea behind creating easier versions of the levels is that each of the four existing levels might be too challenging for new players. Once I finished creating the easier first training level, I realized I had a problem to solve on the level selection screen.
If I was adding four new levels, do I now have to create a way to scroll through the eight levels to choose from?
Instead, I rearranged the screen layout so that I could fit two new buttons at the top so that the player can choose a level and then choose a work shift:
After all, the level layout is the same, but the amount of money the player starts with, the target shipping deadline, and the configuration of the toys that come out of the dispenser are what is different.
I then worked on easier versions of the the remaining levels, but I ran out of time before I could finish the fourth level.
The good news is that the level design work has been straightforward and simple compared to the more challenging ones I made before. One reason is that I know the game’s systems a lot more intimately now, but another is that with the easier levels I am less concerned with providing a precise challenge for the player.
Each of these easier levels ramps up the production runs relatively slowly, and I found that trying different strategies and performing different actions can still result in different outcomes. The player should much more easily be able to get an A+ rating across all three categories at the end of the level, but it is still possible to do less well depending on how they play.
On Friday, I realized through play testing that it wasn’t clear what the difference between the two shifts could be, as all you see is a different description. Normally I am trying to avoid extra work before my 1st release, but I think adding the details on the right side of the screen is a quick task that will add a lot to the experience.
I also confirmed a defect that I wasn’t sure if I had encountered before. Basically, since turns will continue until they finish, it is possible to click on the dispenser button shortly after it appears in the middle of a turn update.
So you might see that the next production run will start in 9 turns, and the menu tells you that if you start it early, you’ll earn an extra 50 gold pigeon coins.
But when you do start it, you only earn 20, which is how much you would earn if there was 8 turns left.
So what I think is happening is that the turn updated and finished, but this particular menu didn’t get refreshed to reflect that fact. I expect it to be an easy fix, but it was also one I didn’t get to finish before the end of the week.
So this coming week, being it is Thanksgiving on Thursday, I’ll either have lots more time or hardly any time to finish these tasks. It’s hard to say because while I will have time off from the day job, that time can easily get filled with holiday and family logistics.
Once the above are done, I will work on creating the builds to submit to the App Store and Google Play for review. I don’t anticipate it taking much time, but this is a new project and not an update of an existing project, and I know each store has updated their requirements over the last year I’ve been working on Toy Factory Fixer.
Thanks for reading!
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