The clarity update
It’s been two months since Rock Paper Feelings 1.3, and version 1.4 is now finished. This iteration has a ton of tweaks and we are very interested in seeing what you think of it. In this post, I will go over the problems we noticed in version 1.3, and how we have attempted to solve them.
Before I start – please note that we are looking for playtesters! If you are interested, follow this link to sign up as a playtester https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScEkERC3weqPQ4waHB-GAM_sIeaIIdvfOjBKunO8FGYDhUUqg/viewform?usp=sf_link
Problem 1 – Unclear rules
In version 1.3 it was hard for players to give constructive feedback on our gameplay – as the rules were hard to even grasp in the first place. Players would give feedback on our faltering communication of the game’s rules rather than the game itself.
Solution 1 – better tutorial
For version 1.4, we have attempted to fix this by improving and polishing the introduction of the game. Based on playtesting, we narrowed down a number of misconceptions about the rules of the game, then we changed and added feedback to the tutorial to address them.
Solution 2 – Streamlined rules
However, a game with convoluted and confusing rules will be hard to play no matter how much your tutorial rocks. Some of our systems were hard to grasp and were quite convoluted – so we streamlined them to make them inherently more intuitive.
An example is the level up system. Previously – to level up one had to
a) have fought X amount of battles
b) have intense enough emotions
c) Each level up is tied to a gameplay-driven condition. This starts the character development. For example, to level up in cautiousness, a bird must lose a fight while watching a friend win a fight.
We felt as though B and C were fine and were closely tied to our emotional system which is nice. The first condition, however, had nothing to do with emotions and added another condition to an already complex system. It did serve a purpose however – to ensure players would not level up their birds too often, thus breaking the game balance.
To amend this, birds are also reset emotionally when levelling up. A bird will lose their intense emotions which allowed them to level up and must climb again on the emotional scale. Thus feelings in themselves acts as XP in this new system. We’ll have to wait and see if emotions can act as XP, or if our various emotion-intensifying mechanics breaks the progression curve for birds.
Solution 3 – More feedback
A ton of more feedback has also been added to more clearly communicate what is going on. For example, birds will now sit down when resting and the fight button now has tooltips letting the player know why a fight cannot be started. Lots of smaller things like that.