Tuesday 26 July 2011

Competitive Banking! Test sessions at TIGJam UK 5

As documented in my earlier post, I attended TIGJam UK 5 earlier in the month, and took with the latest Greedy Bankers vs the World to try out on the unsuspecting developers! I filmed some of the matches for the video below. Take a look at the video below to see how it went down!

Competitive Banking in Practice

The testing session was great fun and some of the participants got very competitive, which is exactly what I was hoping to see! The matches were fast and furious and, while I was hoping to capture whoops and cheers from excited players most had expressions of deep concentration. Perhaps not as photogenic but definitely a sign of solid competitive design!

There were a few things that came up that needed ironing out, though. Some players felt that the rubble drops were too agressive. They're fine at an expert level, but new players often find it difficult to deal with clearing rubble. So I'm going to add in an optional rule that stops 2x2 gems dropping rubble on your opponent.

While Dave (bluescrn) made good use of his opportunities to steal from his opponent, they didn't prove as advantageous as I'd hoped. Because stealing is meant to be a core feature of the new game, I'm planning on making some tweaks to the rules to make this a more worthwhile strategy. I hope to play around with gems gaining value from being stolen, a mode where certain colours are only valuable on one side of the board, and dropping power-ups near the middle so players have to scramble for them!

I plan to make all the rules and settings tweakable so players can come up with their own favourite rule-sets, which I can feature as selectable presets in later updates.

During the event I was able to make plenty of notes, as evidenced in the photo (right) so I've got plenty of useful material to work from! I tend to take a notebook with me everywhere, and over the past year I've managed to fill quite a few of them, mostly with ideas for developing Bankers and other games: plans for strategies, characters, features, and also promotional content.

What's next?

The beta version of the game is nearly ready and I hope to be sending out test versions in the next couple of weeks. It's an exciting process, but there's always plenty to do! Drawing backgrounds has become my top priority, alongside setting up the story mode. As with the iPhone version, the final leg of development is often the hardest, but you have to push on, not lose confidence, and take the bigger challenges head-on. Wish me luck!