Shadowfall: Iterative Design

First off, sorry for the later than usual blog post. It has been a very hectic week, with a lot of work all over the place. Without further ado, let’s dive into this week’s post.

Shadowfall is developed using an iterative design technique. A simple way to explain what that means is through the use of this image:

iterative-3.png

Basically, iterative design is where you design something, make a prototype of that design, and then evaluate the prototype’s design before going back to redesigning it with the feedback from the evaluation. In game development, this means you design something, you make a quick version of it and then you test it. You then use the feedback from testing to make changes to your design and then make a new test version to be tested. It is a cycle that continues until you are happy with a design.

Shadowfall has gone through a number of changes, mostly with balance and player experience, but the look has also been changed a number of times based on testing feedback. Last week, I introduced the new versions of the enemy Slime that has a small amount of red to show its deadly side that players cannot touch. In testing, however, players couldn’t distinguish the prominence of the red side, and couldn’t relate what Slimes were in the first place, because sometimes touching them hurts the player and other times they gave Light Orbs. So it was back to the drawing board for the Slimes. Here’s the new version:

Shadow_Slime.png

The new Slime now has a White side to represent the safe side that players can touch. Through testing, players now make the connection for the safe/dangerous sides better, with this very small change. That is the beauty of iterative design.

However, the white line is now invisible to the player, thanks to the white background of the game. This meant that the background had to be changed to accommodate the new Slimes. Hence, I went searching and found a nice brick wall fit for an old castle or tower:

70_5617_1
from Oriental Trading on Pinterest
Placeholder_Wall
The modified version

To make the white and red stick out, I made the background dark. With this iteration, a lot of other things had to be changed too. Like the Darkness.

Darkness_Still.png

I made the top bits red so that the player gets the sense that touch those won’t help them one bit.

Another thing that had to be changed was the Player. Now, I tried changing the sprite of the player from the placeholder black ninja guy, to a shiny bright knight, but every time I do, something horrible would go wrong. So, I decided to stick with the ninja, but modify him to be white and golden instead. Meet Louie Bright, the lowly boy:Together.png

Let’s put it all together for a new mockup:

Mockup

And that’s all I have for you guys this week. We’re really close to putting Shadowfall out for a beta release, which is really exciting. Until the next post, take care!

To those who are interested, try out the latest build here: DOWNLOAD (4MB) 

How to Play:

  1. Click on the link above, and press on Download.
  2. Use Flash Player to play the game. If you don’t have it or don’t know how, just drag the file onto Google Chrome.

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