Abduction Action! Game Progress Update 6
Over two months ago, I posted claiming you'd see Abduction Action! on your Xbox very soon. Well, that obviously hasn't been the case. I really dug in and spent the last two months polishing gameplay and graphics. The improvements to the game are immense, it has been well worth the extra time spent (see the recent screen shot below for an idea of this).
I feel once again that I'm reaching the final stretch of development. There are a few graphics left to update, a few nagging issues to complete, and some more balancing to do. My 'TODO' list has grown to be very small... I'm hoping to put Abduction Action! into Peer Review in the next week or two. If it passes on the first shot, you'll see it soon. If it doesn't, I have a vacation planned in mid-April and may not be able to release until I get back.
One big change that I just did last night was splitting out the tutorial-type tasks from the farm level and into their own level. I got several complaints from testers that some tasks were too easy and that when they died, they were annoyed to have to replay them. The new tutorial level (on the moon!) takes the easy tasks and puts you in a level where you cannot die... this way, you never ever have to repeat them (unless you want to).
I'm pretty sure I'm going to remove the global scoring too. First of all, after putting a good deal of development time into it, I still haven't gotten it to work quite right. Secondly, the new tutorial level (in which you cannot die) would allow you to rack up huge scores very easily, making the high scores list really a list of who was willing to devote the most time to the tutorial level. Third, the main selling point of Abduction Action! is going to be the Story Mode... saving/sharing high scores isn't as important here as it is to other games where your objective is to get a high score.
When developing Nasty, at lot (most) of my development time was spent creating the game, engine, artwork, levels, etc. I believe too much focus was put on completing the game itself. I feel development on Abduction Action! has been different. The game has pretty well been done since January (engine, levels, AI, etc). All this extra time has allowed me to really add personality to the game, something that I feel was missing in Nasty. For instance there are several animations for characters (such as when they are falling to their demise) and each character has several unique phrase they yell when picked up or dropped, much in the vain of the funny sayings units have in the Warcraft/Starcraft series. A lot of little touches like these really make the overall experience much better and is something I hope to make standard in all Fun Infused Games going forward.
I'm very hopeful that gamers will really enjoy Abduction Action! once released. Several of those who have tested Abduction Action! have really enjoyed the game and it is also a far more polished effort that my first game Nasty. Nasty is right now rated with 3 stars on the Xbox Marketplace... I feel Abduction Action! is a better game (more polished, more fun, more entertaining) and thus gamers will ideally rate it (and enjoy it) better too.
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