Persisting and Displaying Stats

With my last update I started calculating and displaying stats on the endgame screen of each stage. Now I’m saving those stats to the player profile and displaying the best grade for each stage on the map screen. I hope this will encourage players to not just try to pass each stage, but to go for an ‘A’.

Improved Endgame Screen

My latest update is an improved endgame screen. Until now when the timer ran out in the minigame the game abruptly switched to a bland endgame screen that just stated whether or not the player had won or lost and gave a simple menu to choose where to go next.

Smooth Font

One bit of feedback I’ve gotten from several people is that the pixelated font, while fitting for the game, can be difficult to read. This is especially true when there’s a screen full of zombies barreling towards the player. In an effort to make the game as accessible as possible I’ve added the option to change the font to a smoother, more-readable one.⁣

User Registration Screen

I reached to friends and family recently to get some feedback on the game. Until now most of the people that have played the game have had me over their shoulder telling them what to do. I was curious what people would think without my support. Would the game make sense? Would they be able to register an account? Would it be fun?

More Language Content

I’ve been focused lately on adding more content to the game. I’ve spent a lot of time sorting and curating vocab lists into categorized stages. The game starts with simple, common words in the early lessons, and builds up to more difficult, less common words in the later lessons. The early lessons also have fewer words, typically 3 stages of 10 words, for 30 per lesson. I want the players to feel like they’re making progress and opening up the map early on, before they’re hammered with long lessons full of uncommon nouns. The later lessons have 100 vocab words each, so it will take players a while to get through those.

Demo Mode

I want potential players to get a feel for the game without needing to register an account and start from the very beginning. I’ve added a demo mode so folks can try out a simple level without logging in and going through the tutorial. I’ve also worked on the website a bit so it’s not so plain.

Music & Sound Effects

I’ve added all the music and sound effects that I need for now. I’m limited to what came in the bundle I purchased, so I had to make a few compromises, but I’m generally pretty happy with how things are turning out. The music is pretty inconsistent from screen to screen, but it works for now.

Audio & User Options

I’ve started adding music and sound effects to the game, currently all of which came from an indie game dev bundle. I know a lot of folks will want to be able to control this, so I’ve also added an options menu. Preferences are saved to a user’s profile, so they only need to be set once.

Stage Parameters

One worry I have is that the game will feel too repetitive if every stage is exactly the same - just with new vocab. To alleviate this I want to have different parameter settings that can be applied to stages to make them feel varied.

Unlocking Items

I mentioned in the last post that I don’t want to overwhelm players with too much information as soon as they start. In the last post I talked about configurable modals to explain new concepts. The latest update is the ability to set when items, enemies, and weapons will be unlocked via configuration.