I had more fun today with the project. I started out with a playtest and I am happy to report that the game is better than it has ever been. I found myself lingering in the demo, just breathing and watching the colours change. I have no idea if it will work for a larger audience, but it is working for me.
Next up was buoyancy. In the last version, you spent the game suspended in water moving up and down. This was cool, but did not work for a variety of reasons. The main one is that trying to remain suspended to look at stuff was fiddly and stressful, it can even feel a little panicky, no no no. The new version of the game is a little different, you spend the majority of the time on the ocean floor looking about at the groovy stuff. Then, where you are ready, you take a great big breath and rise up. I don't want to say too much more at this point, other than I am very excited to see people try it out soon. Anyway, basic buoyancy is back in the game, and I have now rebuilt DEEP (4th version of it now I think) beyond the point is was at at Playful Arts. I am now breaking new ground with the game.
From there I have turned my attention to the controller. For those of you that do not know, the controller is a hacky Arduino thing of my own creation. It was fastened around the players diaphragm by a big clunky clasp. The biggest problem with this was that, as you passed the belt to a new player, the big weight on one end made it tricky for them to get it on. I headed into town today and got some velcro and thread and, as you can see above, I am in the process of getting it on the belt. I suspect that there will be some problems with this new solution, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Writing all this makes me want to step back and again mention how great playtesting is. I was really really close to pulling out of Playful Arts right before the event. I felt the game was not ready to show. And you know what? I was right, it wasn't ready. But if I hadn't shown it I would not have a clue what the problems were and I would not have met my awesome collaborator Niki. So any of you out there stressing that your game is not ready to be shown, you might be right, but that is not the point. Just fucking show it anyway.
Anyway, where was I, oh yes, progress
What was done
- Basic buoyancy
- Started on velcro
- Finish velcro
- Implement traversal
- Start submitting the game to events