I’ve gone some weeks without an update, I’m so sorry! In short, my day job got a little crazy and I haven’t had the opportunity to work on Vidar as much as I like. Things are settling down, though, so it’s back to development!
First things first, the characters for Vidar are almost done. We’re only missing Arpad, Ropert, and Piri. For now, here’s the latest sneak:
Tomi is the latest addition, and I’m happy to finally have a silhouette that’s age-appropriate for one of Vidar’s few remaining children. To celebrate wrapping up their designs, we’re revealing each character on the newly dubbed Wiki Wednesday. In case you missed her, this past week was Katarina. Grab a look at her biography and sprite design!
Vidar was not accepted to IndieCade this year, and I’m totally ok with that. Making it out to LA in October was going to be a challenge. I think Vidar will be in a way better place next year, plus, I got excellent feedback (though not things I didn’t already know):
Love the depth and persistence of the puzzles.
The only part I found a bit tedious was the walking around (especially on the snow, it seemed really slow). I am not sure if waypoints or maybe teleport points could speed it up from where you left off the previous day, just an idea.
Good job overall!
The game drew me in pretty effectively and the early puzzles were satisfying and felt good. As the game progressed though some of the later puzzles definitely started to feel a bit tedious and the timed level mechanic was a little too much pressure for me personally. Although I wanted to progress through the story (even though it did feel a bit clichéd at times) and see it how things would go, the puzzles just felt like a bit more work than I was willing to put in. That is entirely personal preference though.
I think this game could really draw in and be very fulfilling for the right type of player.
There are a few things I want to pick up on here. First, I thought the compliments were filler or designed to be the nobody-cares accompanying the stick. But I’ve seen other people’s feedback, and now believe that the judges were genuine with their positive feedback on depth, engagement, and the effectiveness of the early puzzles in the ice cave. The judges have hit key sticking points here that I’m still trying to solve. First, agreed, the Ice Cave feels way too long, and the puzzles get boring towards the end. Much like the Dark Cave, my plan is to chop that section down (hopefully in half, if doable). That will hopefully mitigate the rarity of waypoints. If it doesn’t, well, the mechanic already exists, it’s just rare. I’ll need to amp up the ways you could get them.
Second, walking around town feels way too slow. I don’t want to just do a blanket speed increase. For one, that’s a quest reward! For another, it messes with the balance of the Dark Cave puzzles. I may allow the player to sprint in town as a compromise, but I want to solve the problem from a good game design perspective, not simply a quick bandaid. We’ll see how this plays out, but the judges are not the first to make this comment. It’s gotta be addressed.
October will be the Alpha Month for the Dark Cave, and I’m on track for that as well. The analytics integration is done, instructions and tutorials are complete, the shine is all on it. Just a few quick tests and we’ll be ready to go. The alpha month will test all possible options in the Dark Cave. I’ve discussed the possible paths in the Dark Cave before, but I’m anxious to get feedback on whether the section feels sluggish (like the Ice Cave). Or hell, even if the puzzle mechanics are fun at all. Nobody’s played this section yet. While the first quarter of the game has seen so much iteration from so much playtesting, this part…hasn’t at all. I need to be prepared after October to go back to the drawing board here!
And of course, let’s wrap this up with some patch notes!
Developer’s Build 0.3.6
- Added statistics tracking to all Dark Cave Puzzles
- Added Csaba, Tomi, Gusztav, and Barnabas’s shadows to the save screen
- Puzzle 8 now has 6 options
- Puzzle 16 now has 9 options
- Added Razbury Games splash screen to title