How to Avoid Creating A Frustrating Game
As a start-up, one man indie developer, my marketing budget is basically non-existence. Therefore I think it’s important to find ways to promote the game effectively without costing much.
Improving the game play and balance is a good start.
I often recruited my nieces who are between 8 to 16 years old and asked them to play the game and asked what they think of it.
Given several choices of games, they prefer other than Space Shooter X, and when I asked why, the response was it’s too hard.
In version 1.3 of the game, upon the destruction of player’s ship, 70% of previously collected power-ups will be released back and they’ll be up for grabs right away, up from 50% in the previous version. In addition, the collected power-ups will carry through to the next level (where previously it was cleared as you progress to the next level).
This has an immediate effect in that, when your ship is destroyed, it felt less like a punishment . It’s because more power-ups are made available right away, and you don’t have to start with first level of ship weapon and projectile.
So when your ship is destroyed and you have used up your 3 lives but there are plenty of power-ups flying around waiting to be grabbed, you just wish you did better and were still alive. The opportunity to progress is there, you just have to improve your skill. At least that’s how I feel.
Funny enough, according to the global ranking, I am currently the best out there (don’t tell that to anyone lol). As a developer, playing the game like a normal player would allow me to test the game balance.
But as more and more players join in, someone will practice hard enough and improve their skills to become even better than the game creator himself. This is all normal and this is what I want.
The players dictate the direction of the game and not the creator!
I have another game in Windows Phone App store called Plumber. It never ceases to amaze me to see how some players become so good at it I even wonder how they did it!
All this is not new though, if you know PC games like StarCraft 2 (my favorite PC game of all time by the way), it’s the players, the professionals and non professionals who shape the game.
The developer may know the technical aspects of the game ins and outs but when it comes to the mechanics, macros and micros, APM, knowing is not enough. You have to practice those to produce results.