in Game Development

Cave of Atman DX – Development Update September 2018

It’s been roughly two months since AVCon and so I figure it’s time for an update regarding progress with Cave of Atman DX.

Firstly I’ve just finished with a new build that I’ll be distributing to testers later this week. I’m looking to send this build to testers one by one, responding to their feedback before contacting the next one. Puzzle games require thorough play testing and so I’m trying to leverage the feedback from testers as much as I can.

The following are the major changes for this build.

  • Steam Integration for replays
  • Improved replay playback with duration, pause/resume controls and level names
  • Setup scripts to perform screen capture from replay data
  • Improved tooling for world map. Game now generates level thumbnails and simplifies stitching rooms together
  • Non-rectangular levels
  • Resolved AVCon Bugs
  • New introductory levels and branching levels

Unfortunately I didn’t get to prototype a shield holding enemy or build up art references. Instead I opted to focus more on adding to and adjusting the existing level set as it feels more critical at this stage of development. There are now more introductory levels which unlike the original game aren’t just instructional but also contain smaller hooks. The introduction area now branches earlier and each branch is more interconnected.

There are now 69 levels in the game. The AVCon build had a bug where you could attack over small gates making many levels easier. This means I don’t have a good reference on expected play time. My current estimate is around 4 hours, it took me 1 hour to play through the build.

With this next round of testing I’m looking to:

  • Gage impressions of overall quality and strength of puzzles
  • Use feedback to narrow down the overall scope of game regarding production quality

My focus for the next few months will vary based on the feedback received. I’ll definitely be responding to feedback and exploring several items on this list.

  • Keyboard Controls
  • Building art references
  • Creating end game puzzles

I’ve been in preliminary talks with several people regarding art. At this stage I need a better sense of what I’m after and so building a collection of references is critical. I haven’t done a great deal of work with artists so am feeling both excited and nervous in this area.

That’s all for now. I’ll try and post another one of these in the next few months.


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