16 Sep 2020
What goals did you make for yourself after completing the first tutorial?
On Wednesday evening I finished the upgrade to .NET Core 3.1 on Windows without any hitches. The remainder of the week has been a mix of holiday, reflecting and figuring out direction.
I spent time play-testing as if I am a first-time player, trying to identify what is missing. Within the tutorial there are suggestions about mechanics that don’t exist yet.
Hinting in this way is intended to encourage the user to make their own goals. Sometimes a player’s imagination will fill in the missing bits but when it doesn’t, they are disappointed. The tutorial tells of a disaster that occurred at Dwergheim. Naturally the player would like to know more about that. This feels weird because the narrative suggests the player-character was there so they should know something more than “the fires started.” I’ll be looking at addressing some of these issues in the next three months.
My analytics tell me that the average play-time is eight minutes with a couple of outliers playing between 30 minutes and an hour. My feeling is that the game does not engage the player sufficiently; the tutorial provides a hook and drags the player through the mechanics but there isn’t enough to maintain engagement.
I’ve decided on three broad categories to guide development for the next year.
What does “more valuable” mean? Flint allows building the Crude Workshop which allows tools to do jobs. This is the beginning of an upward spiral of accomplishment. The next material provides more and better at higher risk. Developing the idea of what is valuable feeds into both knowing oneself and the online play. Having desirable objects provides motivation for expression of personality, e.g. jealousy leading to theft. Where something is scarce it becomes more valuable, e.g. copper may not be available in all locations, motivating trade in online play.
For the next week I have a long list of bugs that have accumulated over the past month or so.
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