Synoptic Project – Production (part 18)

We had our MVP check this afternoon, but first thing this morning we had our usual scrum with the resulting minutes:

SM20180430

I actually ended up doing a second build after the one I did last night. There were a couple of models that we put in even though they weren’t finished, but we thought would fill out the room a lot better (as well as give evidence of where they’ll go once finished).

It took about 20 minutes to show our work and the lecturers watched while Gary went through the entire game as it stands. The three puzzles were all playable, the clues were all in the game, and the models all seemed to function correctly. There were a number of niggles I noticed right off the bat that I’ll have to address before the actual completion of the game, but for now this was the feedback we received:

synopticfeedback20180430

Beautifully made assets. Simple and effective puzzles – very reminiscent of actual escape rooms. Functionality is great! Fix the minor confusing things such as the door handle on the safe and the colours on the checkerboard. Add narrative audio clues (I wish there was a book for this) – this could be when you are near the piano or in x distance. These audio queues could be time based or you could choose a difficulty setting. I wanna see this project keep going – another small room would be amazing with more puzzles. It would be nice to see some weathering/damage on the wall paper. More stuff in the cabinet please! The plant pot looks a little out of place in terms of colour – think of tying this together. Ensure style remains the same. Consider green wallpaper. Volumetric light would be good coming out of the stained glass window. Make the deer head follow the character or randomly move.

The things I noticed and personally need to adjust, or just my thoughts about the feedback:

  1. The piano puzzle may actually reset too quickly – for players who aren’t familiar with the notes, they’ll take longer to press the keys, and the previous key press may reset before they have a change to correctly input the nest keys.
  2. The safe still needs to be adjusted. The handle collider should be bigger and there should be a way to open the safe regardless of whether they’re holding the handle or grabbing the door.
  3. There still needs to be a lot of sounds added into the game – I forgot to put in the thunder storm sound track into the game before I built it this morning, which was unfortunate since I feel like it adds a lot to the atmosphere we’re trying to create.
  4. I don’t really agree with the comment about the plant pot – I think it matches with the cream in the carpet and not everything has to be colour coordinated with everything else in the room. Having splashes of lighter colour still works, in my opinion.
  5. The team also didn’t agree with the need for extra hints about the puzzles – I feel like the entire point of the game will be ruined if we’re giving hints after x amount of time. The player needs to explore and perhaps there needs to be more explanation about what the clues pertain to, but Gary didn’t seem to have any issues with finishing the puzzles without the need of extra hints.
  6. It was always an ideal scenario we would be able to make a second room with more puzzles, but I don’t think that’s feasible within the current time frame. However, the team did think a congratulatory games room after opening the puzzle room door could be fun – we wanted to include more things to interact with, such as a dart board, which could be housed in there.

Marc helped me make a playthrough video just showcasing some of the room in its current state. I can’t describe how happy I am with the team and how hard people are working to achieve an amazing game. I hope that it will get even better as the weeks carry on and people will be able to add more things into the game before we need to submit!

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