As many people reading this may already know, last week was Rezzed. This was the first time anyone outside of the studio (or unlucky close friends) had played the game. The reception we got was very positive, but we still learnt many tough lessons over the week end (Mo and Fabrice took back a notebook each of notes).
First off, Starship Mechanic is quite complex. Particularly if trying to show it off in just 15 or so minutes! Many features that were intuitive to us while making the game, simply weren't. There were also a few cases of us introducing a concept badly, causing every single person to make the same mistake. While we were already going to make a more in depth tutorial for the final campaign, this was a stark reminder of how important turorials are, and how far we are at the moment from what we need.
It turns out, we've also made some fairly crucial mistakes in what, and how much, information to give to players. We initially intedended to have, and to some extent we'd still like to keep, a feeling of low information where the player has to frequently check up on their systems. However, it was clear watching people play the game that we'd overdone it and we weren't giving enough feedback to the player. We need to settle on a better compromise between accessibility, player feedback and the game atmosphere.
On the other hand, we did get a lot of positive feedback too! As mentioned at the start, the reception was overly positive. Players found the game to be a unique and novel experience. Once over the initial learning curve, people really enjoyed the game. We also got a lot of positive comments about the look and style of the game.
Since then, we've all been taking this last week a bit easy. Fabrice had university work to do, the rest of us had been neglecting our friends and family to get things done. We have still managed to do a few things. The game has undergone some polishing, and we now have version 0.1.2a (although its only really for us and some other devs who didn't have time to play at Rezzed). We've also finally got round to doing a proper re-evaluation and update of our roadmap. This included making some tough decisions over which systems and features we were going to aim to add, and which no longer fit the games play style or are too much work for us to do in a reasonable amount of time.
A lot of things happened at Rezzed, its been a great experience. Its now back to the grindstone and we will keep you updated! Next up, endless mode.