Devlog February 2020

Hello everyone, here is the news from the front!

This month, I continued to work on version 0.6 which focuses on the first levels of the game, and in parallel I tried several things to publicize the game.

Improving the design

I first started by reviewing some game design issues that affect the whole game. I reworked the game economy, where the role and use of gold coins lacked a little consistency. I reworked the rhythm and the curve of interest, improved the motivations of the player, reviewed the scenario. I analyzed all the playtests notes and replayed several times to the game to clearly identify the strengths and weaknesses of the gameplay, in order to have a clear list of modifications that will have to be made for all levels.

I made the decision to reintegrate characters to talk to! I had originally planned not to put a character at all, given the work required to be done well, which had drastically lengthened the development of The Goblin’s Week. However, to correct the feeling of loneliness felt by the players, and to offer new narrative and humorous opportunities, I made a first prototype including a character to talk to, and the results were very good. These characters will however be limited to dialogues; no fights or other interactions planned, to limit the work required to add them.

Finally, I had the opportunity to make some playtests with two teenagers. I thought that my game was intended only for an adult audience, but I was delighted to discover that they really liked the game and its subtleties. So, I took the opportunity to add an option to deactivate the gore, so that the game can also be played by the youngest.

Revision of the first levels

The first levels of the game, which were completed over a year ago, are among those most in need of rework. Indeed, since their creation, the concept of the game has been further refined, with in particular a more RPG and less arcade approach. I have also progressed a lot in level design lately, and it would be a shame if the first levels of the game, those which will therefore be the first played and the most seen, are not as good as the following ones.

In the process, I encountered some block. I did not know where to catch the problem because the existing levels were already interesting and functional, the objective being to make them “better”. After having reworked all the concepts and objectives of the levels, I finally got over this block by concentrating on the creation of independent sub scenes, which I create without constraints, in order to increase my creativity and to try many varied things. This allows me to focus on experiences, emotions, situations of traps or puzzles, without immediately having the constraint of knowing how they will fit into the final level. I then rework the level by synthesizing its old design and these new elements, in order to keep the best.

Update on wishlists

In parallel with development, I spent a lot of time promoting the game. Now that the Steam page is in place, the goal is to reach a sufficient number of wishlists for the game to be successful. The current figure is not very high, but the player feedback is encouraging. I think there is an audience for this game, the hardest part will be to reach it.

I posted a lot on social networks, I contacted the press, I tried to contact users directly. Of all the things I have tried, my post on reddit has brought me the most visits. The press did not relay information about my game at all, except Gaming on Linux, whose article created a nice peak!

If we look at the progression curve, we see that the wishlists only increase when I actively promote the game. I will therefore have to continue this constant effort until the release.

Discord community

The community continues to grow little by little on the Discord. I regularly post content, such as work screenshots, and answer questions from players. If you are interested in news, images, and more regular discussions, it’s here: https://discord.gg/FpXESF7

Roadmap

I still have to send emails and post on forums, but I think what will work will be to finally send a playable demo to streamers. It is on this demo, which will therefore focus on the first levels of the game, that I put all my efforts currently.

See you soon,

Arnaud.

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