Indie Dev Testing and Design Improvements

This week we took some time from development to showcase The Red Front at a local Indie Dev night at Netherworld Arcade in Brisbane.

Being the first public show of the game, this was a large milestone for the project. There were a large array of players with different skill levels, ranging from brand new gamers all the way to professional game designers from the other studio’s on the night.

The feedback gained was invaluable from the range of players who tested The Red Front. Seeing how players responded in the tutorial, how they reacted to the AI and the success rate has helped to path a more clear development track for the future.

One of the best parts was to see groups of friends taking turns to play the game as well as seeing their competitive side come out. Over all a lot of positive feedback was received that the game was fun to play and that players did want to see more. The arcade feeling of the game was well received.

The following improvements were noted during play testing:

  • Few players successfully beat the first few missions
  • The tank turning speed was a bit too slow for some players
  • Some people wanted the ability to change the reversing direction of the tank
  • The grass texture could have more variety
  • Players didn’t notice the movement of the trees
  • Players wanted more rockets to shoot at tanks, they wanted to feel more powerful
  • Players were confused when they couldn’t collect a health or shield pickup when they were already at full health
  • Weapon upgrades to the tank came a bit too slow
  • Players got lost on the tutorial and needed additional verbal prompts
  • Players often didn’t realise the objective on Leningrad
  • The in-game UI size needs to be increased
  • Night time mode could be a bit darker
  • Fast enemy spawns contributed to the difficulty factor
  • The score counter added too slowly when the score multiplier was high
  • Players would really like to see co-operative multiplayer
  • Enemy spawns should start a little earlier

Players appeared to really enjoy the inclusion of allied ground troops, as well as the general bullet-hell feeling which came when many units were on the screen at once – often inducing a state of panic. Some of the developers were impressed that the game was run off a tablet PC, but overall that the game was accessible for both experienced and new players.

The feedback on controls and game play were that it was intuitive, easy to learn and was fun to play.

A bit of extra marketing material was produced to attract players to the table where we were located

After the game testing, we are now back in development and making many improvements upon the game. We’ve been able to identify our games strengths and weaknesses as well as create a more clear path for release.

Moscow, more rocks, bushes and detail has started to be added to the levels

Some basic improvements have already been made to the game

  • Added more sway to trees
  • Increase drop chance of weapon upgrades and missile pickups
  • Changed health pickup and shield pickup to be collectable when player has full health or shield
  • Added further variety to terrain
  • Increased tank turning speed

This coming week, the focus will be on the development of Warsaw and Berlin missions, as well as further improvements based on the feedback of the development testing.

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