Sunday, September 2, 2012
Playtesting and the Camera
As I mentioned many times before, Metroid wasn't a popular franchise here, at least not as popular as Mario or Zelda. Because of that, playtesters with Metroid background are kinda hard to find. Luckily, a couple of months ago, two musicians that happen to be fans of Super Metroid started doing some playtesting for AM2R.
This helped a lot with the Metroid fights. The latest playtest session showed that I overtamed the Alphas (health and ammo drops were too generous), and that Gammas are still cheap as hell. I re-balanced every Metroid up to the 3rd Area, but there's plenty of testing left to do.
Turns out that playtesting is a very time-consuming part of development. Preparing the section of the game, documenting the results, comparing the performance of different testers, all that organization takes quite some work. But the data gathered is invaluable.
One thing that received a nice overhaul these days was the camera system. There were situations in big caves where 2 camera controllers (the objects that limit the scrolling to keep the camera fixed in one axis) overlapped, and caused very jerky camera movements. I had to rewrite some of the code, without breaking the existing system.
So, a new demo is on the way, and now the question is not "When is it released?", but how much more of the game will it include. For feature requests, speculations about the later areas, and general discussion, I invite you to the Forums.
Have a good month!