Last Thursday my fellow writer Timo and I dared to visit the 9th Gametreff NRW, of which I had learned by pure chance.
Fortunately someone had posted in the Cologne Game House that they were still looking for prototypes or new Indie games, which should be exhibited and tested in the so-called Gaming-Area after 2 lectures.
We had assumed that it would be at least one big room where many small teams would present their games – in fact there were only 2 projects, including Innsmouth. Gulp.
Funnily enough, the other project was a colorful 3D platformer. I think with our monochrome presence we created a strong contrast…
Since drinks and pizza were provided by the organizers, the event was well attended and we were able to take home some valuable feedback from our testers.
Last weekend I had changed a lot in the first chapter (some small effects that were missing for the final version) and on top of that I finally wanted to test an early version of the timer.
A timer bar runs along the options when the player only has 3 seconds to choose an option (usually only 2 or 3 choices).
An example of this is suppressing nausea. Yep.
Here’s the simple, still undesigned version I had built in.
Theoretically 3 seconds are barely enough to skim 2 options and hastily make a choice – but one of our (glorious!) testers correctly noted that the sudden time pressure had caught him cold as a player.
That’s understandable, of course. Actually, it’s all about reading through our Lovecraft insanity, relaxing and having fun. Such a sudden stress factor doesn’t fit in well with the concept.
Solutions would be
A) To announce the upcoming time event in the text a little more clearly beforehand, so that the reader can prepare himself mentally.
B) To increase the time window to maybe 5 seconds, so that the stress factor is slightly lower
C) To take out the timer completely and to leave the choice of how stupid the player character behaves to the player.
At any rate, it has been shown once again:
It’s damn important to collect feedback and such small events are perfect to find some testers!
Thanks again to everyone who tested the game if they read it here. Yes, especially you 3 are meant. You were great, we’ll think about your feedback (and add the missing punctuation, cough) and our baboon hearts are inflamed with new motivation to put us back into action.