After a couple of weeks of playing and voting on the games of others from the most recent Ludum Dare and getting votes and very valuable feedback in return has led me to do a bit of polish to Starship Janitor.
Dealing with Feedback
Most of my feedback so far has come from a small group of family and friends so dealing with the comments of strangers is a new experience; both of these are quite valuable but the latter is an entirely new beast. The feedback from the voting process could be broken down into the following points:
- You die too easily
- The game is quite hard
- Hard to tell when the enemies are going to turn back
- Need some way to get health back
- Mopping up is satisfying
The first two points can be alleviated at the same time by dialing values, giving the player more health, making the enemies attack slower and have a slightly lower attack range; quick things. But outside of adjusting numbers, I think there is a little more valuable lesson to be learnt here, play the game more. These tweaks took very little time, less than an hour all up, so with a little more play time in the game during the compo, these issues could not have been an issue at all.
Now the enemies shapeshifting back unexpectedly point is a fair critique; one which I should have included originally. Around the time I was doing the tweaks I noticed that this was something that was causing me a lot of deaths and was an easy thing to implement because I already had a method on the player to flash red when they are hit. So I have to ask myself why did I not implement it? Easy answer for this one, I did not play the game enough during the compo.
Point three, need some way to get health back, another fair critique and another quick implementation. A little art and a couple of script alterations later now there the map contains battery packs which give back a unit of health, which eventually respawns when taken.
The final point was nice to hear; I like the fact people are enjoying what I made.
Post-Compo Patch Notes
Here is a list of all the changes that were made in the post-compo version:
- New ship map
- Tile set alterations and fixed a couple of errors in the sheet
- Enemies now blink quickly just before turning back
- Increased the time that enemies stay transformed by 1 second
- Added star field background for a little more visual interest
- Moved the sprite flipping to just be on the sprite object and not the entire game object
- Using the above change, added a gun sprite that follows the mouse
- Fixed issues with the net that this caused
- Reduced the time to fire on the players weapon slightly
- Made the players shot sprite slightly smaller, this was done because the sprite was larger than the actual hitbox
- Increased the travel speed of the players shot object slightly
- Fixed an issue where the shifter enemies would disappear behind floor tiles under certain circumstances
- Added 3 more blob variations, each with a different movement speed
For those who have played and left feedback for the game, I would like to thank you, for your kind words and very valued constructive criticism.
And finally play the post-compo version here: https://dsdev.itch.io/starship-janitor-post-compo-version