Alright! My goal right now is getting Bleed 2 to a bare-minimum “shippable” state as soon as possible. Over the last few weeks I’ve re-balanced the audio based on Joonas’ feedback. I’ve played through the game using each weapon, making sure they’re all working and fun. I’ve gone through the game with every character, making sure they can actually complete it with their various limitations and unique abilities. I’ve found and solved a lot of bugs (funny how the to-do list grows even as you’re trying to shrink it.)
Right now I’m writing a small-but-important amount of dialogue for each character (sitting with my coffee and my laptop, thinking about the personalities of my characters and what they’d say to each other — I feel like it’s like the most pie-in-the-sky version of what people imagine when they think “I want to make games!” Within a day I’ll be actually implementing the dialogue though, fixing the litany of bugs they create and patching up all the missing art assets I discover, haha.)
Anyways, I’ve added a bunch of polish and little features along the way, and I think those would be more fun to read about, so here you go!
I discovered I can add extra details to Steam leaderboard entries, so I started taking advantage of that! Now you’ll be able to see the character someone used, their rankings for each level, where they died, etc etc etc. It’s probably nothing special to someone who knows what they’re doing, but I’m still new enough at coding Things That Use The Internet that it makes me really excited.
I made a small change to the Blast Jumper intro and boss fight — it now has an aiming reticle to show where it’s going to land.
This is a minor detail, but it matters — being fair and teaching the player are important to me. The Blast Jumper has an attack where it shoots off the top of the screen, and then smashes down on the opposite side of the arena. There was no way for new players to reasonably know where it was going to land, and it always stood out to me as something that was unfair. Now there’s a sound, and the reticle — and they’re both introduced in the intro cinematic, so even new players should have a fair shot at avoiding the attack.
On harder difficulties the screen is more crowded and you get less warning, so the reticle helps less. Players will have to use their knowledge of the game to predict where the boss will land, and I’m fine with that. It’s not an overly complex thing — just stay away from the opposite side the Blast Jumper took off from.
Lastly, I polished the menus! Specifically options with sliders, as they were throwing people off. You press left and right to change them — and that’s fine, but people expect to be able to change them with the mouse, too, so I’ve accounted for that. Very exciting, I’m sure!
I’ve tried to make the menus as easy and fast to navigate as possible, no matter the control scheme — even using only the mouse (even though you’d never realistically be limited to just the mouse…) For example right-click is an alternate version of the escape/cancel key — it’s a small thing, but it speeds up menu navigation for people like me who are incredibly impatient and like to be as efficient as possible.
One thing I haven’t done is looping menus (like, if pressing up at the top of a menu moved you to the bottom of it.) Maybe I’ll add it to the to-do list. Right now I’m gonna finish this dialogue, create the actual ending sequence, and start hardcore playtesting the damn thing! WOOP!